Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body and be ye thankful.” At First Baptist Decherd we certainly have much to be thankful for. God has given us a great vision and that vision is being fulfilled before our very eyes.
Last year at this time, we laid out a vision for 2017. In last year’s state of the church address we mentioned the following: 2017 promises to bring many challenges and many rewards. Recently the church approved of a new budget that includes provision for two staff additions: minister of worship and minister of students. We are prayerfully anticipating who God will bring to us and how such additions to our staff will enhance the ministry of FBC. Once our new staff members are in place, we will turn our attention toward strengthening our Sunday School ministry and strengthening our outreach to the community. Organizational work will also be done in 2017 as we work toward revising our church constitution and updating our church membership. We are also seeking to continue work on our facilities as we begin to work on improvements to the upstairs of our educational building.
I am glad to report that all of these goals have been accomplished this year for the glory of God. The Lord has blessed us with additional staff, the completion of a new constitution and bylaws, facility improvements, and a greater emphasis on church growth through Sunday School. In addition to this the Lord led us to adopt Decherd Elementary School and to reach children with the Gospel through Good News Club. Thus far, we have seen 11 children accept Christ as their Savior at Good News Club. The Lord also led us to lead the way in establishing a new chapter for Child Evangelism Fellowship called the Tennessee Valley Chapter. We also give God the glory for 8 baptisms this year and several new members. God is certainly at work here at First Baptist Decherd and we give Him all the glory!
In 2018 we must press on and continue to build upon the foundation that has been laid by precious saints who have worshipped and labored in this church over the years. Our vision for 2018 is to continue to reach our community with the Gospel with a greater emphasis on praying for the lost by name. We also look forward to continued growth in our children and youth ministry as we make plans for summer ministries such as VBS and camp. As we continue to strengthen the Sunday School ministry it is our goal to have an average of over 100 in Sunday School by the end of 2018. We will also continue to work toward greater organization that will make us more conducive for growth. In 2018 we will complete the development of a policies and procedures manual. We also hope to work toward a long-term building and ministry expansion vision. But, most of all, it is our goal to see more people come to know the Lord and to double the number of baptisms that we saw in 2017.
In order for God to do a great work through us, He must do a great work in us. May this be the year that we see a mighty move of God in our lives. May we all commit ourselves to a closer relationship with Christ and may we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.