Vacation is over. We had a great time in Michigan. We are so grateful.
Beth and the kids left for Wisconsin this morning, to spend the week with her parents and two of her brothers and their families.
After they left, I was thankful for the opportunity to visit a good church this morning that I have never attended. It's not often I get the chance to attend another church, and it was doubly helpful and interesting to attend as a first time visitor. Gives you new eyes. Maybe I'll write more about that at another time.
I began the transition into work mode today. This week, as I mentioned before we left, I will be focusing on some study and writing. When I first suggested awhile ago that I do this, the elders wholeheartedly supported the idea. In addition, they suggested and arranged pulpit fill for this coming Sunday so that I could give
the week completely over to this work. I'm grateful for their support
and for the Chelten pastors who have always been so willing to serve us
in this way!
I'm writing simply to ask you to pray for me this week.
have more on my to-do list than I can possibly get done. But I want to
be really productive. Productive in a way that best serves our church. I
plan to work at least 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday, but 60-75
hours goes pretty fast. I know I am completely dependent on the Lord for
the real fruit of my labor (including the "taste" of the fruit).
I will be working on the following projects:
First, rewriting the short form of our doctrinal statement. We now have a one-page version of our doctrinal statement that is on our website, and is used in membership class. It needs to be rewritten, in similar summary form for the website and for membership.
Second, prior to my coming to Bethel, the elders began the process of writing a new doctrinal statement in a longer, more detailed format. They chose to wait on finalizing that process until after the new senior pastor was in place so that he would have a part in that process. So, here we are. If you remember back to our annual meeting last Fall, this was one of the goals for this year. I'll be working this week to help us realize this goal as soon as possible. The number of pages this document will be is yet to be determined, but it will be longer (maybe 12-15 pages?) and will spell out in more detail what we believe at Bethel. This will be helpful for all of us, but especially for those who are in teaching and leadership positions.
Once I return, we will need some time to work through these documents as elders, and then we will certainly communicate clearly and take time to work through the changes and additions with the church family before we collectively affirm (Lord willing!) the new documents.
Third, a "ministry plan" document is needed for the capital campaign. We have been discussing and praying through this "planning" stage. We all desire to get moving with some of the improvements that we need, but we want to be careful to plan well before the ball gets rolling. One important step in that process, according to the counsel we've received, is a ministry plan document that helps guide all involved to match form to function.
There are a few others items on the list, but please pray for these main three.
Most of all I need to trust in the Lord with all my heart this week and do all that I do by his grace, for his glory and the good of our church. I know God will hear and answer that prayer!