As you probably know by now, last Sunday morning this church voted to approve the plan for future growth and outreach that was proposed by the Westbury 20/20 team. There were 315 ballots cast on eight proposals. One proposal received 84% approval. Another received 88% approval, and the rest were all over 90%. So today, I need to say three things to you, our church family.
First of all, thank you. Thank you to the members of the 20/20 team for your vision and hard work and courage. Thank you to my fellow ministers for showing those same qualities every day. Thank you to the church family for your difficult questions, your honesty in expressing concerns, your trust in us and your willingness to take some uncomfortable, somewhat scary steps to position ourselves to reach people we’re not currently reaching. I can’t overstate this. In far too many churches, if a pastor proposes change—especially change to the worship service and the sanctuary—he might as well start looking for another job. I feel very, very grateful to be pastor of this church.
Second, I want to speak to those who feel very anxious about all of this. Some of you voted no. Some of you voted “yes,” but have real misgivings about what this is all going to mean. I realize that change and growth aren’t easy or painless, so I understand your feelings. In fact, I share your concerns. Every member of this church is valuable, not just the people we haven’t reached yet. In the future, when you have concerns or questions, please feel free to talk to me or another staff member. As families go, we're a big one, but we are a family still, and you matter to us.
Third, now the real work begins! These eight proposals aren’t all going to get done in the next few weeks. My fellow ministers and I are presently working on a list of action steps to get these proposals accomplished in the most effective way possible, and we will let you know when we need your help. For now, here’s what you can do:
You can get ready. We will need many people in this church who don’t currently have a ministry to embrace one over the days to come. Some will be needed in the nursery. Some will be needed as greeters. Some will be needed as leaders or behind-the-scenes workers in our new worship service. And there are dozens of other volunteer needs that will arise as we go. Pray about how you can be a part of this process of growth.
You can give. Our church budget needs your continued faithful giving, but nothing about 20/20 will be in our new budget. So for those of you who feel led to give over and above your regular tithe, our finance committee has set up a designated account. This account will fund expenses that come up this year related to operational part of 20/20, like expenses involved in the new worship service, new small groups, etc. It will also raise funds to purchase the new sign or screen. If you have a preference which of these projects your designated gift goes toward, feel free to let us know on your check. Or just write, “Westbury 20/20” in the memo line, and we’ll use it where it’s needed most.
Most of all, you can pray. Pray that our church is unified as we move forward. Whenever a church does something to reach out, the Devil doesn’t like it. He is going to try to divide us; you can count on that. But greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world. Pray that we would reach new people and lead the lost to saving faith and the saved to spiritual growth. Most of all, pray for the Holy Spirit to revive us, to give us a hunger for more of Him and a passion for the lost.Once again, thank you for agreeing to go on this journey. I am excited about the future of Westbury Baptist Church!