As we are all very much aware, this next year will present a host of new opportunities for Mountain Brook Baptist Church, as we welcome a new Senior Minister and prepare to launch out with a new vision. While such transition times can be exceedingly anxious for a congregation, given how the status quo must inevitably change, it also holds incredible opportunities to stretch our ministry efforts with God’s help to do more than we’ve ever been able to do.
In that spirit, our Finance Committee has recommended a proposed budget for the coming year that I believe will enable MBBC to continue to reach out in mission in even more faithful ways. This proposed budget, which I prefer to call a ministry plan, reflects the careful consideration of our ministerial staff, key committees, and lay leadership as they have worked to project ministry needs for 2022, a new chapter in the life of this exemplary congregation.
When you look at the proposed ministry plan, you’ll notice that we are still taking a conservative posture in our projections. Yes, we’ve been able to restore some ministry categories this past year in light of our resumption of in-person gatherings. However, even with the recent return to a “mask optional” protocol, the pandemic still merits a cautious approach and so given the uncertainty, we will continue to show financial responsibility and flexibility as we gradually move toward the “new normal.”
Thank you for the faithfulness you have shown in the face of all we have gone through together. Our church has emerged from the forced shutdowns of COVID in a much stronger position than many congregations because of it. We can take pride in the ways we have avoided the rancor and division too many churches have experienced over these last twenty months. Clearly, our staying together represents a concerted focus on Christ’s call to fulfill his Great Commission and not our personal desires.
So, I invite you to pray with me as we move toward adopting this budget as our church’s ministry plan for the coming year. That vote will take place this Sunday morning during both worship services, along with recommendations from our Nominating Committee on church leadership. Immediately thereafter, we will begin our stewardship campaign to call our congregation to financial and ministry faithfulness.
I invite you to join me in praying that the budget will excite our membership as a plan for making a difference for Christ in the coming year, perhaps the most pivotal one we’ve known in some time. Pray that God will honor our efforts to advance the cause of Christ in our community and our world. Most importantly, pray that it will make us a more faithful church as we steward the many blessings God has provided.
Lastly, thank you for your support in leading our church to realize the many possibilities that are before us in the days ahead. I trust you’re as excited as I am to see what God will do in our church in 2022 as MBBC moves into the next chapter of exemplary ministry. I am proud to be your pastor, and I trust you are equally proud to be a part of a church that truly “Loves God and Lives with Grace and Generosity.” Such a spirit will go a long way toward ensuring that this next chapter won’t be the last in this storied congregation, but merely the latest addition to a tale of incredible devotion that will continue to change hearts and lives with the good news of Jesus, the best story of all.
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (1 Chronicles 29:14).