Confidence, Vision and Hope for the Future
I still vividly recall a specific moment during my junior year of high school basketball. We were playing a rival school to our north and I had been in a shooting slump all game. Nothing felt right, and as I adjusted my shooting mechanics, and the ball continued to evade the hoop, my confidence plummeted as my frustration rose. Having just clanked another mid-range jumper off the back iron, I stormed to the bench. Teammates slapped my rear spouting a rehearsed and hollow “good game” my direction. I knew it certainly was not a good game…at least not on my part. As I sulked at the end of the bench, the game resuming before me, my coach strolled down the side line and crouched directly before me. “You have to see it go in before it does,” he declared. I glanced up: “huh?” I remember him staring me in the eyes and repeating the phrase: “The ball…you have to see it – in your mind – go through the hoop before you shoot it.” He rose from his crouched position, gave my leg a quick pat, and then moved back down the bench. For whatever reason that tidbit from my coach embedded in my mind. Foresight and vision bolster confidence which lead, for me, to greater effectiveness on the basketball court.
That mantra worked well on the court, but the world of Gospel-centered ministry is quite different. Effective ministry does not begin with vision; rather it begins with confidence. This is not a confidence in my strength, my talents, or my preparation. This is a raw and utter confidence in the power and plan of the star-breathing, soul-shaping God of eternity. We as His people, His church can have a deep and abiding faith in the increased fame of His name and the increased expansion of His kingdom. From confidence in Him our vision is born – a means of accomplishing His plan in our church and our city. Complete confidence in the Lord is absolutely essential to Gospel-effectiveness; but so is a clear vision.
That vision, at least at BLDG 28, leads to preparation, and then execution. This has been the progression for every single aspect of ministry in the life of our church: local outreach, video production, sermon series, church planting partnerships, internal ministries, pastoral training, community events, special services, and the list rolls on and on. Confidence creating vision, leading to preparation, and resulting in gospel-effectiveness. Most of the time our church family only sees the vision and planning come to life; but as we roll into summer and even now begin looking to the fall, I wanted to pull back the curtain and let you all in on the vision and preparation pieces that will, God willing, burst into color in the life and mission of BLDG 28 this fall or early next year. I wanted to do this for two primary reasons:
- First, my hope is that you will pray. Even if you are not part of B28 please join with our church family in praying. We truly desire to see a legitimate work of God go down in Pinellas County and we know that He moves through the faithful prayer of His people. So please pray for each of the ministry ventures listed below.
- Second, my hope it that at least some of these stated objectives will bring about a renewed vigor and deeper commitment to the mission to which God has called you to fulfill as a follower of Jesus and a vital part of His church.
So, with the goal of “seeing it develop before it happens” here is all that we are envisioning, planning for, and praying toward this fall (more details will be available before each of these roll out):
- Outreach Expansion: Currently we are, as a church, faithfully serving in four local outreaches. By August we will increase that number to seven, intentionally partnering with, for the Gospel renewal of our cities, three additional missions.
- Planting our first church: While there are some details to be worked out and prayed over, there is great hope that we will send out our first church plant this fall.
- Partnering for the launch of another church: We will also be heavily partnered with another Acts 29 church, planting this September in Miami.
- B28 Podcast: BLDG 28 will be launching a real-talk podcast where our leaders will unpack theological, social, and cultural hot button issues.
- Kids Wing Expansion: It is no secret that many of our children’s rooms are running out of space on Sunday mornings. Our plan is to, by August, open up additional classrooms.
- Rolling out our internship program: This program officially kicks off in August. If you have a desire to serve the church, learn from our staff, and develop in ministry please let one of our staffers know.
- A Third Worship Gathering: A year ago we opened up our new worship space. Through a variety of channels Christ has grown His church and now we are running out of room in both gatherings. A third service will help us to reach more people and instruct more believers in the hope of the Gospel.
- Hosting our first conference: Our leaders will host a one day ministry practicum to train local/regional pastors toward greater gospel effectiveness.
- Launching our own Bible Institute: Admittedly this will not roll out this fall but our hope is to see a formalized institute by 2019 to instruct our church and inform/develop ministry leaders.
The 19th century missionary to India, William Carey, once famously declared, “My future is as bright as the promises of God.” We completely agree. Please pray that His kingdom comes and His will is done in and through our church this year and for the years to come.