Watch Vision Sunday Message For 2022-2021
Four years ago, as I began the work of Senior Pastor at FBCW, God placed before me a vision for FBCW to become more of a “Go and Tell” church. We all know that changing a culture is hard; even slightly re-directing it is challenging enough. God has been faithful to allow us to begin this culture change over the first 3-4 years at FBCW.
Our people know the vision. We are familiar with the biblical mandate, the verbiage and are expectant that this is the direction that God has set for our church in the future. The vision is in the “ethos” so to speak of the church at this point. This may seem like a small thing, but this is more than half the battle. It takes real work to accomplish momentum, to create or shift culture direction … we have accomplished this. Praise God!
We have initiated active steps to pursue this over the past 4 years, increasing evangelism, local missions, and outward-focused ministry. We are truly becoming a decidedly more “Go and Tell” church, even if it has only been in the initial culture forming stages.
Now is time for FBCW to make an intentional, decisive, and strategic next step in our “Go and Tell” vision. We need to see more intentional and track-able “movement” of the vision. FBCW understands the vision, can communicate the language of the vision, and has seen initial “Go and Tell” vision efforts, but it is time to see our vision move to another level of activity, participation, engagement, and local community reach. IT IS TIME TO MOVE!
Message From Pastor Brad
Over the past COVID year, many church members and followers of Christ have been deeply impacted and affected in many ways. Some positive, but mostly negative. All the anxiety, stress, and sudden life change coupled with distance from family, friends, and church family has been used by the enemy to create division, distance, depression, confusion, unbiblical thinking, and large amounts of apathy.
While many in these difficult months and years have clung even tighter to Jesus, dug deeper in His Word, and increased in faith … sadly many have given up. Many have forgotten the necessity of the community of God, having grown numb and complacent to the things of God. They have forsaken time in the Word and have sadly bought the subtle and crafty lies of the enemy that they don’t need God, Jesus, His Word, and His church. The enemy has used this time to disrupt the church truly as Paul warned the Corinthians “that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:13). Satan loves it when the body of believers is asleep or fractured. AGAIN, I say, now is the time to get MOVING ... organizationally, missionally, and spiritually.
After much observation, prayer, time in the Word, and wise council, I feel God wants us to move in three ways this coming year.
We need to MOVE BACK, MOVE TOGETHER, and MOVE OUT.
After a year and a half of COVID disruptions to church, including online-only, outside services, in-person limits, distancing, and safety protocols … many have disconnected and disengaged. Almost all our area churches are running somewhere around 60-65% in attendance compared to pre-COVID. While we are seeing more familiar and new faces weekly, there are still some who have bought the lie of the enemy that they do not need the church.
"Over the years, I have heard many state like a mantra, “The church is not a building, it is a people.” While, yes, that is true, “but the church facility is the place where the church gathers. The church facility may be a traditional church building. It may be a house. It may be a grove of trees. Still, it is a place where the church gathers. The writer of Hebrews wants church members to encourage and motivate one another. In his letter, he is explicit in this desire and hope: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24) So how do we do that? Look at the next verse: “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25) Did you get that? As fellow believers, we encourage one another when we meet together. The gathered church is important. Indeed, during the pandemic, we missed the in-person, gathered church greatly.
I believe a new group of unchurched folks will emerge. For now, I will call them “stragglers.” Before the pandemic, they were at least marginally involved with a church. But during the quarantine, they decided they preferred not attending church in person. When churches began to regather, the stragglers did not return. Some stragglers will move to a digital-only connection with their churches. Others will completely drop out of church attendance. Entire new strategies will be developed to reach the stragglers. New resources will be created. Church leaders will recognize this group as more receptive to the gospel and to reconnecting with the church than other unchurched people. (Thom Rainer)
An important strategic goal for 2021-2022 is to create opportunities to engage those who have yet to return. We need to designate budget resources and intentional time to reinforce biblical teaching concerning the blessing and necessity of the local church.
BIBLICAL TEACHING ON CHURCH
We will devote regular attention throughout the year to reinforce the biblical understanding, necessity, and glorious benefits of the local church.
Local church membership is both biblically necessary and wonderful. We will intentionally reinforce this through sermons, small groups, podcasts, blogs, and other available materials.
INTENTIONAL IN-REACH TEAM
We will take intentional, consistent, and creative efforts to reach out to those who have yet to return to church due to COVID or disengagement. We would like to form an "Intentional In-Reach Team" to develop and implement creative ideas and strategy for re-engaging those in our body who have yet to return.
During COVID we have seen an increased need for counseling ministry inside and outside of the church. We want to see the creation of ongoing counseling ministry in several important areas.
Divorce Care, Grief Share, Marriage Strengthening, Mental Health, Stephen General Lay-Care Ministry, Financial Peace, Celebrate Recovery (Addiction), Teen Moms, etc...
If you are interested in being trained to provide help in any area of this ministry, please click the button below.
JOIN OR START A SMALL GROUP
A 4D Group affords you an opportunity to continue growing as a disciple while you are also helping others grow as disciples of Jesus.
So, who can start/get in on a 4D Group? You can! No experience is required, just a readiness to invite/connect with 3 people (give or take) to go on this journey with you of becoming more like Jesus.
"MOVE BACK" TRACKABLE GOALS
Return to 90% of our pre-COVID membership in active attendance by the end of the 2021-2022 vision year.
- We know that there is a certain percentage of pre-COVID members who have moved away or retired
to other locations.
Increase small group community by 25%.
During the quarantine, we were regularly reminded by church leaders and church members that the church wasn’t closed. Certainly, from a biblical perspective, the admonitions were correct. As many people reminded us on blogs, Facebook, and other media, the church is the people, not the buildings. Got it. Still, something wonderfully ironic transpired during the pandemic. Churches realized they need to become more people-oriented as their freedom to gather people together was taken away. We are seeing more and more value not only on programs but the people in the programs. Within every church, there are “barriers” that keep certain groups within the body separated and distant. It is a real impediment to church growth and accomplishing the mission given to us by Jesus. It is easy for a congregant to get focused on desired programs and preferences and miss the bigger picture of people. If we have some of these divisions, no matter how seemingly insignificant or expected, we need to address them now as we get more intentional to reach our community. (Thom Rainer)
Thankfully, FBCW is blessed to not have major fractures and divisions that seem to be common in other churches, but we have small ones that we always need to be conscious of … or they grow into something bigger. FBCW has congregations within a congregation. Our church has grown to the size that we cannot have everyone worship in one service under one roof. Praise God for growth, but with growth, comes unique challenges. Our differing services and congregations are separated by time, musical preference, situation in life, and in a very real way … age. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is something that if not shepherded and monitored, could be used by the enemy to produce fractures in a body and hinder the mission of the church. Diversity and differences in a church can be wonderful; people love options, but we also have an enemy who is a master in taking good things, godly things, and perverting them to create destruction. This most often occurs when we get focused on programs and preferences instead of people.
When we take our eyes off the mission, we can easily get more concerned about ourselves, our wants, our wishes, and our ways. The enemy and our sinful flesh can easily sway Christians to hate their fellow brother or sister over something inconsequential. The enemy loves this. We believe there are small areas for the enemy to cause this kind of disruption and distraction. We have noticed over the past four years a couple of areas that we want to not only notice by strategically address in the coming year.
o We would like to see intentional planning, efforts, training, and events coordinated to help bring cooperation and a spirit of unity among our Traditional and Contemporary teams and congregants.
o Fellowships planned with all worship teams included.
o Worship training for all worship teams (if possible).
o Occasionally cross-ministry co-operation
▪ The praise team periodically sings in the choir.
▪ The orchestra participates with the praise team for a song in the Contemporary service.
▪ Continued cooperation for larger holiday events.
o Regular teaching reminders on biblical worship.
o Mini-sermon series and Blog.
Service Time Differences
o Schedule several combined service opportunities throughout the year.
Programs and ministry opportunities to partner Next Generation Ministry with our older adults.
We would like to see more interaction and participation with our Hispanic congregation and vice versa.
Increased Small Group Participation
For the past 3-4 years God has been faithful to allow us to begin, implement, and foster a “Go and Tell” culture at FBCW. Our church knows the mission we have been given by the Lord Jesus. We know it, believe it, agree with it, and have been making first steps to obey it in so many ways. (“Go Bags”, Operation Christmas Child, Back To School Resource Fair, UPG/Druze work, holiday food outreach, Angel Tree, Cooperative Program giving, English clubs, extensive benevolence, and countless other initiatives …)
The “Go and Tell” vision is in the ethos, so to speak and that is a major success. It is hard to shift a culture and implement a vision. It takes time. We have accomplished this phase. Now is the season for another level of implementation. We need a season of vision goals that are strategic intentional, and track-able. Goals that move us to the next level of “Go and Tell” action.
IT IS NOT THE TIME TO HUNKER DOWN, HIT CRUISE CONTROL, OR JUST SURVIVE. IT IS TIME TO MOVE … OUT.
Just as God initiated the Acts 1:8 mandate for the church through a great persecution that scattered the church from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, we believe our sovereign God is always calling us to “go” even amid a pandemic, AND even using the pandemic. In the midst of the pandemic, we believe congregations that have become inwardly focused more like a religious social club than churches are going to be forced to place a renewed emphasis on the immediate community that God has placed them in. They will either rediscover their community or die. I think this is a wonderful thing!
OUTREACH TO NEIGHBORHOODS CLOSEST TO THE CHURCH
Our goal is to make at least three contacts/connections with each home in four targeted regions/neighborhoods closest to the church.
• Lakeside – 511 homes
• Elm Farm – 126 Homes
• Rollingwood – 255 Homes
• Bonny Road - 183 Homes
o TOTAL – Roughly 1,000 homes (3,000 connections)
We want to sports ministry, with an emphasis on kids programming to reach our four target neighborhoods closest to the church and our greater Woodbridge area with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Turkey Trot, 5K
FOSTER PARENT MINISTRY
The Bible tells us "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." - James 1:27
We believe that FBCW must be more involved in foster care & adoption ministry. We want to develop ministries that support current foster parents and encourage FBCW members to pray about becoming foster parents themselves.
We believe that God has placed FBCW in our community to be present, engaged, and active. We are called to be salt, light, a city set on a hill. We need to find ways to take what we do INSIDE the walls of church, OUT to our community. We will have 2-3 Sundays a year where we worship outside in our community and then break into groups to go serve our community.
Click the button below if you are interested in helping plan for these Sundays.
There is a real opportunity to minister to and share the gospel with refugees that are being settled in our area. We have developed a 3-stage ministry approach to help.
Click the button below to get involved.
UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP STRATEGY
Three years ago, our church felt led to shift our mission strategy. Instead of supporting disconnected international church planting efforts, we wanted to align our efforts and resources toward one international goal. God led us to focus on an unreached people group. After much prayer, we focused on the Druze people, primarily located in Lebanon, and represented in the greater Washington D.C. area.
We want to re-engage our church in our 5-year strategy to reach this unreached group.
Begin direct engagement with the UPG nationally and internationally in partnership with NAMB, IMB, and other partner organizations.
Sustain local engagement and training opportunities for those not yet trained. o Expand the cadre of trainers internal to FBCW.
Develop the budget for year 3 engagement and partnerships.
Take regular vision ministry trips to expand ambassadors at FBCW
Click the button below if you want to know more or want to attend our next ministry trip to the Druze in Lebanon.
If we are going to be a church of disciples of Jesus who make other disciples of Jesus, we need to know how. We believe that intentional disciple-making training is necessary to not only equip us for the great commission task, but also to alleviate our fears as we MOVE OUT into our community. Training will provide us confidence and expertise in reaching our relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter where you are on your walk with Jesus and discipleship training, we have training that will fit.
411 is a beginner level, simple, reproducing training that equips believers to begin making disciples by answering… 4 questions in 1 hour on 1 sheet of paper.
WHY Make Disciples?
WHO To Share With?
WHAT To Say?
WHEN To Obey?
Any 3 gives us a biblical, proven pathway to winning Muslims to faith in Christ, by showing you how to use the gospel to filter responsive Muslims and disciple them into multiplying communities of faith.
You too can learn the five easy steps that take you from 'Getting Connected' to 'Getting to a Decision'.
Perspectives is a fifteen-week course designed around four vantage points or "perspectives" — Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic. Each one highlights different aspects of God's global purpose. God has a role for every Christian in His global purpose. Whether overseas or at home, the primary issue is that people are hungry to discover Christ. Learn how to help them discover.
"MOVE OUT" TRACKABLE GOALS
40% of active membership participate in some form of local outreach and/or local missions' opportunity.
40% of active membership receive disciple-making training at some level.
- 411 Training
- Any 3 Training
- Global Gates Reach The Unreached