We are coming full swing into the new year, and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead. I have been the lead pastor here at Heritage since 1980. And while I am an old dog, I still want to learn some new tricks, as it were, with regard to helping this church achieve success in faithfulness to God.
I want to first define success. Our church has had highs and lows regarding Sunday morning attendance. The typical defining measure of success for organizations is buildings, bodies and bucks. We have declined in bodies, our bucks have been consistent, and our building is paid for. So, we lost ground in the bodies category, but we are experiencing some growth again in this area.
Success, however, is not to be defined in this way. These statistics are measurements, to be sure, but they are not defining measurements. Success is faithfulness. Faithfulness is not as easily quantifiable. It is real, however. Faithfulness to God is obedience to His will. Some of the measurable aspects are lifestyle issues: Kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, etc. It is also found in giving financially and of time and talent. Faithfulness is also seen in sharing the gospel. I pledge to encourage, exhort and do all in my power to be an example and to hold our members accountable to the spreading of the gospel in personal witness and testimony.
We are also embarking on a new master plan for the next six years. It is may prayer that we will be able to put a succession plan in place for the next lead pastor of this church. That means putting into place the means by which we can identify, hire and support a pastor and family that will be selected to take the lead at Heritage. My hope is to be able to be here to walk through this process, mentor the new leader and even stay long term in continuing to serve here at the pleasure of the next lead pastor. My role will change some, but I hope to be continuing in discipleship ministry, evangelism training and small group development.