This week I had the opportunity to participate in one of the final meetings of the Future Focus Committee led by Stephen Hatfield and Andy Pittman. This committee was formed in response to a recommendation from Ed Jackson, a messenger from First Baptist Church of Garland at the 2007 Annual Meeting in Amarillo.
The following is the committee’s assignment: “The committee will study, analyze and project income for the BGCT and address relationships between the BGCT and its institutions. The purpose of this committee is to determine the best use of resources to win Texas and the world to Jesus Christ and to encourage and support the ministries to which God has called us.”
Clearly, this assignment is easier said than done. When this committee accepted its assignment little did its members know we would plunge into what many economist shave deemed “The Great Recession.” This economic downturn has complicated and made even more significant this task.
Over the course of the last eighteen months in dialogue with Randel Everett, Executive Director of the BGCT, and his key leaders, ideas, thoughts, and conversations have turned into visions and practical applications. In light of the magnitude and significance of the hour, many of the key components of this shift in vision and priorities are already being implemented. The Executive Board staff has already moved into three new teams strategically focused on mobilizing our work together on three historic and relevant fronts: Evangelism & Missions, Christian Education, and Advocacy/Care.
In a time of streamlining and flattening of organizations, the BGCT will narrow its focus to three vital initiatives. These “big three” will be the main thing for our future together. We strive to be a people who share the gospel and start all kinds of new and innovative churches. We strive to be a people who equip and prepare our people to make a difference in the world. We strive to be a people who care enough to move out from behind our stained glassed windows to get our hands dirty and on occasion to get our hearts broken. Simply put, we are a people who reach, teach, and care.
From my perspective for this vision of the future to take hold, we must move in from the margins, and pull together around heart beat for ministry. We must rally around our core values, and make “grace room” for all the diversity among our ranks. No longer should we get our hands dirty drawing lines in the sand separating the orthodox from the other; rather we need to get our hands dirty touching the world around us with the gospel of Jesus through collaborations of grace.
In a few months, the final report of the Future Focus Committee will be in the hands of our people. The key for its impact will be if it moves from our hands into our hearts.