Working the plan

What is happening? Why aren’t we doing something? What’s next? In a busy fall, our church has dealt with incredibly important issues that affect our current and future status as a congregation. Questions like the ones above are not uncommon. If you are paying attention, listening, and reading you know there is plenty of evidence of how we are moving forward. Here are a few examples:

  • The Mission and Vision initiatives, affirmed by the church-in-conference in September, are being addressed the staff and church leaders to establish measurable goals and timelines.
  • In the November church-in-conference, the congregation was introduced to several key components: 1) Impact Teams – specific objectives to get our church outwardly focused through targeted mission enterprises. 2) Life Groups – three expressions of community that allow us to build authentic relationships through Covenant Groups, Growth Groups, and Affinity Groups. 3) Enhanced Worship – exploring opportunities to make current and future worship experiences more meaningful and attractive to members and guests alike.
  • Under #3, a new worship experience was introduced that will begin on January 11. Called the Gathering, this Wednesday night service will be offered in the chapel at 6:00. Its format will be a more intimate and contemplative time that features prayer, Communion, teaching, and music.
  • The 4th initiative that focuses on young adults has not been forgotten. If the first three are effectively carried out, we are confident that young adults, particularly in the 18-29 age range, will find places to connect with Wieuca.
  • A larger question remains the subject of continuing exploration and conversation. A number of our leaders were introduced to a new model that comes from a church-planting strategy. Would it be possible to begin a new work right here within us? How could such a thing be accomplished? Questions lead to more questions. I invited a leader in this field to make a presentation about how a similar strategy might work in partnership with an established church like ours. Since that time, we continue to examine the potential. With the help of our church council, a team has been established to represent Wieuca’s interests in conversation about our future. Our goal is to have a proposal to present to the council and then the congregation early in the new year.

On Sunday, December 18th, I will be available at 9:45 in the Heritage Room to conduct a Q & A with anyone interested in knowing more about our current state of affairs. I believe we are making significant progress in carrying out our mission. We need all of your talents, passion, and commitment as we roll up your sleeves and work together for God’s church at Wieuca.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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