Next Steps

Getting acquainted (or reacquainted) with a church community is an interesting process. There are people in leadership and staff positions to get to know. There are ways of doing things to figure out. There are the regular and predictable daily and weekly tasks of ministry – sermon and worship preparation, hospital visits, meetings, etc. There are also aspects of learning the culture and trying to get a sense of the pulse of the congregation and community.

Over the 13 sessions of my “Listening Tour,” Jennifer and I received lots of insight as to where our congregation is right now and what God may be calling us to do. I shared some of this information with our Administrative Council a few weeks ago and suggested that we look for a time for our church family to explore some of the next steps that we might take together. This suggestion has materialized into an event that we are preparing for Sunday, September 17.

The Next Steps Summit will be an opportunity to bring the church family together to share ideas, hopes, and dreams, and cultivate a vision that will help us reach and serve people in our community. We will share a meal immediately following worship, then spend some time around tables together talking about how we believe God is leading us. This summit is not intended to be the final step on our journey, but rather an opportunity to survey the landscape from a higher view as we plot the course for our future.

I really hope that you will plan to be part of this work. Kim English is coordinating childcare for families with kids. We are also arranging for lunch so that we can get started as quickly after worship as possible in order to maximize the day. (The Dallas Cowboys kick off at 3:25 that day and we will be done well before that!)

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you each Sunday in worship and Sunday school. I have been enjoying our opportunities to worship God together and to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. I also hope that you have been looking for ways that you can recommend First Church to friends and those you encounter. God is moving in powerful ways and it is exciting to think about what God might be calling us to do.

With love, and joy, serving as your pastor-
John McLarty