I want to let you know about some exciting opportunities ahead of us this year. First though, let’s celebrate the accomplishments and answered prayers we experienced in 2016. You’ll remember we asked God for breakthrough in four big challenges we faced.
- For a NextGen Pastor by the end of summer – Chris Long and his family moved here in September and exciting things are happening in our Children and Student Ministries.
- For a Student Minister by Christmas – We met Joseph Castillo in December. After following a thorough process we were convinced in January he was our guy. Joseph, Emily and their daughter Penny will be here February 26!
- For our financial resources to match our needs for the Expand Initiative – After a moderate start, we “closed the gap” and then some in September. New parking lots are now in use. The children’s building expansion and new outdoor baptistry should be ready by Easter. Once the dust settles, all funds designated to “EXPAND” in excess of costs will be applied to debt reduction.
- For clear direction on when and where to start a second campus and who will lead it – more on this in a moment…
As we have seen in the past, whenever we create more space (larger worship center, more services, new parking spaces, new classrooms) we grow. Fueling that growth are always the twin passions of guiding people to take their next step with God and being a church where unchurched folks feel welcome. The goal is always making disciples of Jesus Christ both locally and globally.
In addition to completing our campus expansion, we believe God has provided two more challenges for us in 2017.
- Expand our involvement in missions, both globally and in Seattle
- Open a second Brazos Pointe Fellowship campus in Southern Brazoria County
We have been given new opportunities in new places to send teams across the country and around the world to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our continued growth at home, however, has made it difficult for our current staff to seize those opportunities. Therefore we provided funding in our 2017 Budget to add a full time Missions Pastor to the team. Once again in 2016 your tithes and offerings exceeded our budget requirements. It will take that level of giving and more in 2017 to make this new position a reality.
As we prayed for breakthrough last year we had our eyes on what could happen this year if we created a second campus closer to where many of our folks lived. Hundreds of you drive 20 minutes or more to worship at Brazos Pointe each weekend. What we have learned through the years is that the closer people live to their church campus, the more likely they are to take basic next steps with God – next steps like joining a small group, inviting friends to worship, and serving their community. Teenagers are less likely to get involved in student ministry the farther away they live.
We’ve known for some time now a second campus would be a next step for Brazos Pointe. Last year, we began in earnest to ask God to show us where, when and with whom we should take that next step. We hope to announce “the where” late this spring once a few more key pieces of the puzzle fall into place. We believe “the when” is this fall. This could be either monthly preview services or a full launch. Most important is “the who.” Throughout last year many stepped up to say, “Count me in!” We will soon gather them and any of you who sense God’s calling to start this new campus. We will begin praying, dreaming, and planning how to reach unchurched folks in a new part of our county.
These opportunities before us are Big Next Steps for our church. I need you to pray about your part in them. Is a mission trip in your future? Will you join the new campus launch team? Is it time to step up and into a role on the Brazoria Road campus left vacant by someone moving to the new campus? Will you continue sacrificially giving your tithes and offerings? Will you perhaps give more to match the challenges ahead? Or will you begin regular giving if that hasn’t been a step of faith with God you’ve yet to take?
When we began Brazos Pointe Fellowship on April 15, 2001, it was all hands on deck – everybody serves, everybody gives, and everybody invites their unchurched friends to come and see. We need that same kind of passion and commitment in 2017, because there are more people in our communities today who face an eternity separated from God than there were 16 years ago. These are our friends, our families, our co-workers, our fellow students. Let us use every resource and opportunity we have to love them toward Jesus. On whichever campus, or to whichever shores God leads, I hope you’ll say, “Count me in!”