Coming up on Sunday, May 20th @ 4:30 PM we will be having our regular quarterly church conference. We are having it at 4:30 because we have a special VBS Sign-up at 5:15 and the AWANA Awards program at 6:00 sharp. This should be a very full and exciting evening for the body of UBC.
The Church Conference will include regular reports and a recommendation from the Church Council. The Church Council is making the following recommendation for church approval:
“The Church Council recommends to the church body that we develop a Wednesday night equipping ministry for all age groups within the church, and that we no longer have regularly (weekly) scheduled organized activities on campus on Sunday evenings.”
Should it pass, the new schedule will begin in August. We are staying flexible on the details of the schedule, but at this point we are looking to begin a Family meal at 5:00 pm. At 5:30, Children’s Ministry will begin with Choirs leading into AWANAs, which will begin at approximately 6:15. and conclude, along with all other events, at 7:45pm. The Adults and students will meet together in the sanctuary for a brief time of worship and devotion at 6:00 with elective classes beginning at 6:30. These classes could include the following: evangelism training, parenting classes, theology & church history, biblical manhood & womanhood, christian financial stewardship, etc. Choir and Youth will meet during the elective time (6:30-7:45). Again, this is flexible, but I wanted you to have an idea of what it looks like, particularly if you’ve been unable to join us for the discussions.
Those of you in our discussions on Sunday evenings are aware of the proposed schedule change to a Wednesday night program in order to free up Sunday nights for intentional family worship and occasional special events. Sunday night is the night most available to families during the week and our hope is to equip each home with an online Family Worship Guide that will set an example for that one night that will HOPEFULLY stretch into other nights during week, getting families together more often with dad as the spiritual leader in the home. We know there are extenuating circumstances and many singles who are not in traditional family units. This is where the “spiritual family” comes into play. We will encourage you to group together and meet for your own family worship time or perhaps join with one of the families in your life group. Otherwise, take it easy and rest on what’s left of your Sabbath.
As Chairman of the Council, I can assure you that we unanimously agreed that a vote was not necessary, but we all agreed that it would serve the membership of UBC best to bring it before you all. We are excited to bring this to you for approval because we trust the pleasure of the body will make clear what’s next.
Now, I do want to share with you what we will NOT be voting on. We are making plans now to implement our ministry plan (as seen on the website – Discover, Equip, Reach, Renew). The organization of our ministries is vital. We have cast vision to you on how this plan will benefit us in being more effective in all of our ministries, particularly our most important resource – YOU. Ephesians 4:11-16 makes plain the need for EVERY part to function properly and the body will grow.
Another part of the vision casting that we have set before you is Life Groups. These Life Groups are community (geographic) based home groups designed to meet during the week on the 1st and 3rd weeks of every month. The emphasis on the geographic base is important because we want to further integrate all ages and families together as much as possible. Whole families will attend Life Groups together to discuss application of the sermon; pray with one another; and fellowship. Acts 2:42-47 is our model for this and Titus 2 drives much of our hope to see the older training the younger along the way. By nature, we just don’t interact with other ages as much as we should and we want to help foster that as much as we can through these groups.
So, what’s NOT going to change? Our Bible Fellowships are still intact with an even greater emphasis on teaching. Our worship time is still intact, but in the Fall we have the most exciting development with the integration of our college students into the main worship service! This will add so much to our time of fellowship and worship and will be an adjustment for us all! I thank God for the church’s commitment to His Word and the expository approach to preaching, which is yielding the greatest benefits to many of you. Our hope is that the College students embrace and thoroughly enjoy the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Gospel-driven passion in our services.
If you’ve not been part of our discussions, I encourage you to request a CD of our Sunday evening discussions from Tommy Morgan (email@example.com) in the church office. I know this all seems like quite a bit of change at once, but the main decision before us at this time is the mid-week schedule. The organization of a ministry plan and development of the Life Groups are more in the natural course of things as we need to organize our ministries for better stewardship and we already have many people involved in small groups at this time.
My prayer is that we will see the body of UBC passionately seek to glorify God by becoming a community that treasures Christ together above all else!