Last year, my 40th birthday year, I had a physical. This year, our church’s 140th birthday year, we were accepted into the "Matthew 28" process: "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And, remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." On the practical level, this process brings us the benefits of a comprehensive "history and physical assessment", complete with recommendations for our health, fitness, and MISSION for the next chapter of our life together.
The first phase, the "history", is a self-assessment report including membership, worship, and financial trends as well as analysis of our community, our "mission field". Thanks to everyone who has gathered data, created charts, and written responses.
The second phase, the "physical assessment" is coming up March 13-15. On Friday the 13th, Dr. Paul Borden and a team, including persons from our annual conference who are learning this process from him, will interview Pastor JP and the staff. We will also have an evening focus group. On Saturday the 14th, the team will meet with our church leadership. On Sunday, March 15th, we will have a combined worship service at 9:30 am with Dr. Paul Borden speaking. This will be followed by a Sunday School hour (11:00 - 12:00), where we will hear Dr. Borden’s recommendations. Afterwards, we’ll have a covered dish luncheon. You won’t want to miss this important day. Please feel free to contact me or one of our leaders with any questions.
Like any "physical", we may hear some uncomfortable news. None of us get excited about changing our diets or exercising more. I am personally grateful that Dr. Borden will be leading our assessment team. I have heard him speak several times, read his books, and been at table with him. His heart burns for healthy, vibrant churches making a difference and making disciples.