One of the first things I desire to do here at Mt. Calvary is to take the church through the church covenant. It is my goal, and I believe my duty as a minister, to have oversight of the membership of the church. Technically, that means I am currently responsible for some 1,200 souls. Of that number, we have had in the 250's present on Sunday mornings for worship. That makes for quite a large number being unaccounted for!
I believe that these absentee members, to the best of our ability, need to be contacted. First, we need to find out why they aren't attending, as is their duty (and joy!) in the Lord. Then we may be able to seek reconciliation for them to the body, or else we may remove them from the membership role. This sounds harsh in modern ears, but it is a necessary part of serious, loving church ministry.
In order for the body of Christ here to understand this, it will be important to understand the obligation and responsibility of every member who joins this covenant fellowship. To that end, I plan on teaching through the church covenant this Sunday night, beginning with the Baptist Faith and Message.
As I am certain is fairly typical across the Baptist landscape, Mt. Calvary has never made the transition from the 1963 BFM to the 2000 BFM. I doubt this is due to any opposition, but rather it is most likely attributable to the lack of zeal in amending constitutions and by-laws. This gives me, as a pastor, a great opportunity to teach through the BFM, to highlight the revisions and the reasons behind them, and to point out those things which remain the same. The BFM is foundational for our covenant since has been adopted as our statement of faith.
It will be an ambitious project. We have suspended all other classes on Sunday nights until this is finished. It is my goal to be finished in eight weeks. From these classes, I will endeavor to create a prospective members class that will be a pre-requisite to membership. It is only fair that someone seeking to join with this fellowship knows what their obligations and responsibilities are before they actually join.
I am looking forward to this time of learning. I believe that if other churches would do something similar, we may find our associations to be strengthened and many problems addressed.
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago