What’s Happening this Week at FBC?

I usually write on Wednesday about the happenings of FBC, but since this is Thanksgiving week, I thought it important to write early this week. Please remember that this week we are having Wednesday on Tuesday. We will gather as church family for a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. The church is providing the meat. We ask that you bring the sides and desserts. We will have a brief service around the tables. All of this happens in the gym.

This Sunday, I will begin preaching a series on John 3:16 that will take us through Christmas. Max Lucado called this verse the “numbers of hope.” Frank Page, Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Baptist Convention, called this one verse the “Mount Everest of God’s Word.” We will particularly look at the message of Christmas through the lens of this jewel of the Gospel.

I am so excited about what God is doing at FBC. I am thankful to be your pastor. May God bless each of you during this week of Thanksgiving.

Pastor’s Update Regarding “Do Something”

do something - white - web header 720 x 360In our ONE Day service (on August 31), I issued the challenge to Do Something. On that day, I challenged us individually to do something for God more than we have ever done before now. I also challenged us as a church to do something more than we have ever done in our history.

I hope that you are praying about your individual commitment. You are going to have the opportunity on Sunday, December 7, to declare that commitment before the Lord.

In this correspondence to you, I want to address where we are as a church in our joint Do Something challenge.

We started in September with dreaming. Over 300 ideas were submitted. In October, we went through a process of discernment. From those over 300 ideas, six ideas seemed to come to the top as we met in Focus Groups. Again those six ideas are: a planned revival event, a planned crusade event involving other churches, the expansion of our Christian School to include a high school, a more intentional ministry to UL-Lafayette, establishing a satellite campus, and the expansion of our benevolence ministry coordinated by a full-time staff member.

In our original outline, I suggested that November would be the month of deciding. I am ready to do that, but maybe just not in the way we had originally planned. That is, the decision I am calling for is definitely not a final decision, but instead more “next-steps” in an on-going process. I shared much of this with the congregation on Sunday night, November 16.

I have arrived at this proposal through my own journey of prayer and discernment as well as listening to you through the response cards which were turned in as the six Task Forces shared their reports on Sunday night, November 2. I believe the responses submitted on the cards help us to clarify what God is saying to His church. Specifically, the responses reveal some common agreement in where God is leading and some common agreement in where God is not leading.

Attempting to give us leadership to next steps, I propose in the coming days the following actions.

Regarding the Full-Time Benevolence Pastor—We  can be more organized in communicating to our congregation what we are already doing and other opportunities that we have to partner with others in our community who are already very involved. I encourage you to consider making this your individual Do Somethingcommitment. I commit to you a Ministry Fair in January 2015 to expose our congregation to the many options available to us to be a part of community ministries.

Regarding a Satellite Campus—Whereas the majority of our congregation does not feel this as a viable option to pursue in the most immediate way, we should find ways to make ourselves available to this idea in the years to come, especially if we would be contacted by an existing church in hopes of revitalization of their ministry.

Regarding Revival—Immediately, we will begin to plan a revival event for January, 2016. The January date seems to be best on our calendar to maximize our greatest potential. In the meanwhile, I will share with you in January 2015 specific action steps that all of us can be taking to prepare for and pray for revival.

Regarding Crusade—There is great consensus that the church revival should precede the area-wide crusade. I will begin targeting other churches in our city to see if there is interest in joining with us for a potential area-wide crusade in 2017.

Regarding Expanded Intentional Ministry at UL-Lafayette—Though there is consensus that God wants us to do more in this area, the details of what that should look like are very uncertain. Our next steps should be to establish clearly defined goals and then set action plans to achieve these goals. I would like to be able to present to the church a more specific vision about this in the first part of 2015.

Expansion of FBCS to Include a High School—I have been pleasantly surprised as to how this journey has presented so much enthusiasm toward a high school. I share that enthusiasm! Honestly, I believe that this is one of the fundamental callings and passions of my life.

There are three things I want you to understand now.

  • There will always be people who choose a different option for school. I understand and appreciate that.
  • This can be a polarizing issue. Though there is a majority in our church ready to do this, there is a minority very against this. We will listen to everyone in this process.
  • There is much work that must be done before a final proposal is offered to the church. Be praying.

If you have thoughts, questions, or concerns about any of this, please feel free to call or e-mail me.

In closing, I want to thank you for your participation, excitement, and praying.

Let’s Do Something!

Pastor Steve Horn

Right by Our Side

The Lord watches over you-
the Lord is your shade at your right hand (Psalm 121:5)

As current president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, I had the honor and responsibility of serving as the moderator of our annual meeting over the last few days. I had an extremely capable credentialed parliamentarian to advise me in navigating procedures to help us have a respectful and fair debate. He sat just to my right shoulder during the business sessions.

As part of the Pastor’s Conference that preceded the Convention, I preached on “Fulfilling our Ministry through Faithfulness to God’s Word.” About the Bible I preached, “God’s word is the most important tool in my life for maintaining and growing my relationship with God. Sometimes, I am comforted by His Word. Other times, I am convicted by His Word. I find daily direction in His Word.”

On Tuesday morning after a somewhat difficult Monday start to the annual meeting, my devotional reading in my planned daily Bible reading schedule was from Psalm 121. The first part of this Psalm has always been a favorite:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

My heart was awakened. I need His help every day, but I knew I especially needed His help this day. Then I came to verse 5:

the Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

Once again, just as I had preached two nights before, God used His word to comfort me. I had more than a parliamentarian on my right side; the Lord Himself was right by me.

Wherever you are today, know that the Lord Himself watches over you!