Here are the four initiatives in brief, with an explanation to follow:
1. Be a church that plants churches with the first church being in the Three Springs area.
2. Initiate a capital campaign for necessary repairs at Third and 11th and at Whispering Pines Bible Camp.
3. Hire a part-time Director of Worship.
4. Continue and expand the focus on Gospel Communities.
We believe each of these are responsive to the role of the church to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples.
Since we have limited space at Third and 11th, our growth can come through another location. The current and future growth of La Plata County is in Three Springs, Bayfield, and Ignacio (the eastern half of the county). We believe that area needs a strong Gospel-preaching church that draws men and women to the Lord. The precise details as to how we proceed have not been formulated. This is on purpose. We want to form a launch team of individuals who are committed to planting that church in conjunction with our staff and elders. To that end we are looking for men and women who want to serve on that team. Gospel communities in that area will be the building blocks for that new congregation. We have a biblical mandate to take the Gospel to all of La Plata County and ultimately to the Four Corners.
Our home base will be Third and 11th and therefore we must be good stewards of what God has already given us. The exterior of our building is in need of serious repair. Much of the masonry work is more than 100 years old and must be replaced for the integrity and safety of the building. There are also roof issues that must be addressed and an aging boiler that should be replaced. There are concerns with some settling at the northeast corner that will be investigated and corrective action taken. Whispering Pines Bible Camp, another gift from the Lord, continues to impact hundreds of young lives every year. For it to continue to function and to minister effectively there are a number of immediate repairs to be made. All of this amounts to a significant price tag of $400,000. We are confident that God will use each of us and His resources to meet this goal. We will initiate a two-pronged capital campaign to secure these funds. First, the church will use some existing funds and will sell the property on Highway 172 to pay for one half of these projects. Second, the other $200,000 will come from the personal sacrificial giving of those who call First Baptist home. The Holy Spirit will guide each of us as we consider our giving. A summary budget of expenditures is attached.
Thirdly, we believe adding a staff position to oversee and direct our worship ministry will enhance our Sunday morning services. This is not a reflection on our current volunteers - they are doing a great job! However, a volunteer is a volunteer and they have jobs and other responsibilities that must come before their volunteer service. Just as we have chosen to have staff oversee other ministries, such as children, youth and women’s ministry, now is the time to add this position. Our director of worship will do more than oversee Sunday morning worship. That person will minister to the entire congregation and especially shepherd and disciple those involved in worship and the sound technology. This will not eliminate our volunteers, only change some of their roles.
Finally, in 2017 we began an emphasis on Gospel Communities. We desire that everyone who calls First Baptist home is “in community” through a Gospel community group or other small group. Gospel communities are shaped and driven by the Gospel to make disciples and encourage one another in the faith. “In community” is where spiritual growth takes place. “In community” is where care is given. “In community” is where the Gospel is lived out and shared. And “in community” is where we sharpen and challenge each other. Therefore you will continue to hear much about Gospel communities and you will be asked: “Where are you vitally connected in community?”
4 Ways to respond right now:
1. Talk with an elder or pastor, get connected or find our more information about church planting email us at .
2. Connect to a Gospel Community near you, email Jimmy Thoma at .
3. Pray. Pray individually, as a family, GC or at our corporate gatherings on December 19th and January 9th at 6:30.
4. Give. If you would like to give to the Capital Campaign, go to the link below, enter your information and click the drop down menu to Mission 2018.