Pastor Steve shared this email following our Prayer and Praise service Sun., Aug. 5.

Good evening,

You’re receiving this e-mail because we want our entire church family to know about some of the news I shared with those who attended the special service of prayer and praise at the church earlier this evening. Here’s a summary (with a little extra background and context):

A little over a year ago, the Lord used His people in our church family to give sacrificially and pay off our debts entirely at the end of June 2017. Then, we immediately began saving more than $32,000 every month toward our Capital Improvements Reserve. At the end of August 2018, that fund will have about $400,000 to help us plan effectively for future expenses for maintaining this facility. Then, we will continue saving at least $8300/month ($100,000 per year) for the next 10 years into that fund. All of this helps us stabilize financially and prepares us to be able to expand missions and ministry.

WORSHIP: Please continue to pray for the search process for a new Worship Arts Pastor. The style of our worship, led by choir, praise team, and band is not changing, and we’re looking for the man God has to lead us next with excellence as we worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth.

FACILITIES: You’ll notice in the coming months that we’re going to continue refreshing paint and carpet, renovating bathrooms, and replacing the preschool playground equipment so that we can be ready Sunday after Sunday to receive guests — particularly welcoming the young families that are moving into Maury County.

MISSIONS: We have been sending 14.85% of all receipts to causes “beyond our walls” — local missions, national and international missions, and church planting. We are planning for further missions expansion and for greater missions giving to increase by at least another percent in the coming year. We want to be a generous church that the Lord will use to accomplish His work around the world!

MINISTRY: Since I became your pastor nearly 8 years ago, I have felt that we have had a “hole” in one particular age-group among our church family: 18-32 year-olds. This problem is growing nationwide, but I sense that the Lord wants us to attack it head-on as a church. We need to make an effort to reach young people in Maury County. This age spread includes college students, young early-career, young marrieds, single people — all with and without kids. I believe we have an incredible opportunity for us to get the Gospel to young people as this age group grows in our community.

I proposed to our Personnel Ministry Team that we create a pastoral position for young adults 18-32, and they unanimously agreed. This man in this new position will spend 20% of his time on general pastoral duties, 40% on developing our small group ministry for young adults here at the First Family. The other 40% of his time will be spent developing and shepherding a brand new outreach to our community to take the form of a mid-week service off-campus (probably somewhere in downtown Columbia), where he will lead our young adults to be intentionally missional in their approach to worship, study, and preaching as they reach other young people in Maury County. We will be directing financial, human, and volunteer resources toward this effort beginning this fall.

At the same time we were discussing all of this, the Lord was leading a member of our staff toward young adult ministry as well. So, with great expectation to see how the Lord will use him, I announced tonight that Pastor Deron Henry will become the new Young Adults Pastor.

Deron has been on our staff as the Student Pastor since 2007, and he has served the Lord faithfully in this role. What he has said he desires to do in young adult ministry is exactly what we’re looking for, and I trust him to build and lead this new work. Our Personnel and Steering Teams are unified on this direction.

We will begin the search in September for a new Student Pastor. Given the fact that this search may take some time, we will have a slow implementation of this transition and the new program that results. We will move only as fast as the Lord allows as He cares for His church and brings us the right people for the job. Pray for God to give wisdom to our Personnel Ministry Team as they search for a Worship Arts Pastor and a Student Pastor at the same time!

After I announced these things, we split into groups scattered around the Worship Center to pray. Here’s what I want us to continue to pray: (a) for our church to be faithful to what the Lord has called us to be and do; (b) for folks around us who are lost to hear the Gospel, repent, and believe; (c) for God to bring glory to Himself in every decision we make. Won’t you join us in this prayer as we walk through this new season together?

It is my joy to be your pastor.