Friday, September 25, 2015

Advance! Weekend at Vantage Pointe Church

District Transformation Project 2.0

Event Name: Advance!
Date: October 2-4, 2015
Statement of Intention:
Vantage Pointe Church was born when a small but determined group of people joined Pastor Dean Brown in July, 2011 to investigate forming a new faith community in the Glens Falls region. The new church would be called Vantage Pointe and it would reach people who were waiting to meet Jesus Christ and become involved in a healthy, growing community of faith. The group believed that from God’s Vantage Pointe, nothing would be Impossible for them.

They followed though on their faith by acting on three core values:

·       Loving God and loving people to God;
·       Growing people through biblical discipleship; and,
·       Engaging with the region so that the unchurched would know that Vantage Pointe’s God loves them and that He has a place of service for them in His kingdom

The fledgling group reached out to their family, friends and yet-to-be friends by gifting the community with events designed to touch the lives of people for Jesus and introduce them to Vantage Pointe’s ministry. This happened in city parks through annual Easter Egg Hunts, Family Fun Days, Trunk ‘n Treat events and through a backpack ministry in a local school. The group also partnered with community agencies like Open Door Food Bank, the Salvation Army, Warm the Children, and the Open Arms Pregnancy Center. It also offered the region a “City’s Biggest Baby Shower” to reach and support young families in need of baby clothing and supplies. An Antique Car Rally also occurred to share donations with needy veterans. Thousands of people have been touched by these outwardly-focused events.

The leaders of Vantage Pointe Church have invited the Eastern New York/New England District of The Wesleyan Church to partner with them in a special weekend called “Advance!”. It will be held October 2-4, 2015.  While the church has made good progress since its launch 3.5 years ago, Pastor Dean and the church’s leaders believe that there is yet much ground to take for Christ and for the people whom He died to save. The weekend will better equip the congregation and her leaders for effective ministry well into the next decade.

You can be a vital part of this event in one or more of the following ways:

·       Pray for the leaders and volunteers of Vantage Pointe as they prepare for the weekend and for open minds and hearts for what we will be taught/caught during this time
·       Attend special prayer events to help us “turn the soil” and receive whatever seed the Holy Spirit will plant in us
·       Offer to serve on a team that will do research in the areas of church history, demography, community reference, finances, food preparation and facility set-up
·       Commit to give so that whatever recommendations come our way, we can act on them without a shortage of volunteers or financial resources

The next days will be filled with much activity as we prepare spiritually and organizationally for our Advance! weekend. I’m excited to share these days with you!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Why I Do It

I have the privilege of serving as District Secretary for the Eastern New York/New England District of The Wesleyan Church. This weekend my church - Vantage Pointe - is hosting the DBA for its Fall Retreat. There is a lot of work to be done behind the scenes to make this a powerful event in the lives of the members who serve with us:

  • Reports must be completed, collated and distributed
  • Facilities must be cleaned and set up
  • Food must be purchased and restaurants booked
  • Lodging must be secured for weary travelers
  • Schedules must be harmonized and confirmed
  • Prayers must be prayed for Divine Intervention to occur

We are blessed with an amazing office administrator who does a tremendous amount of work on our behalf (thanks, Cam!) and lay volunteers who do so much to help get things ready. 

As Rosalie and I left Wal-Mart at 11 PM last evening after picking up supplies and food stuffs, we talked about the weariness we felt after a very long day. One could be tempted to ask, "Why do you do it?" A variety of responses could float through the mind:

  • I have nothing else to do (not true!)
  • Someone has to do it (true, but a shallow response)

Here is some insights into why I serve:

  • The middle judicatory places rigorous demands on the superintendent. If I can lighten the load for him by caring for the myriad of details, this gives him freedom to serve without the strain of minutia bogging him down.
  • I believe in our district mission and gladly to do my part to help achieve what it is God is calling us to do and become as a people.
  • I know that a well-presented DBA Retreat results in members gaining clarity on the work of the district and discovering insights to help them make good decisions on behalf of the 40-some churches and many more pastors that labor to fulfill their calling in the local environs where they do life and serve those who are journeying toward eternity. 
  • There is joy in serving Christ, even when buying groceries, setting up chairs, and typing out meeting minutes. After all, He washed dirty feet and received a thorn crown in service to me!

In a few hours we will welcome our members from across the district to our facility in Queensbury, NY. They will serve with distinction with our superintendent and conduct what they pray will be beneficial service to the ministry that is ours. Most will not notice (nor should they!) the details that are in place so they enjoy an exceptional experience for the twenty-some hours they are with us. 

After I finish my administrative work, and re-set the church for Sunday, and care for the details that will be mine to manage before the day is done, I will turn out the lights and go home knowing that I played a small part in "Unleashing a team of energized leaders to multiply life-changing churches."

Now you know why I do it!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Welcome, Dear Friend!

I do not encourage cold and snow to march into these mountains and bring with him a shiver that makes it hard for me to rise from slumber and welcome the day. 

But I do invite my friend who carries cooler nights and milder days beneath her comforting sweater. 

Her presence signals the changing season and gives permission to the foliage to embrace its brilliant hue. 

Welcome, dear fall. I've been waiting for you!