One year ago, we set out on a discernment process that we called the Strategic Growth Initiative. The aim was direct, while the outcome was wide open to God’s leadership: We want to grow our faith community’s capacity to love our neighbors and make disciples of Jesus.
University Baptist Church is uniquely poised for exponential growth. We have the most brilliantly gifted and compassionate people, who love God, each other, and the community around us. We have an extraordinary campus and facilities. We are surrounded by healthy development, dozens of new businesses, hundreds of new apartments, and homes. Between the nearly 40,000 students and faculty at LSU to the influx of young families flipping houses in the neighborhoods around the church, we have thousands of outreach opportunities.
The SGI is an invitation into an extraordinary conversation about who we are, why we do what we do, and how we might experience exponential growth. Conversations have led to brainstorming, testing ideas, discernment of God’s leadership, and maneuvering to step into new practices.
Over 100 people have participated in the various SGI teams, focused on spiritual formation, age-specific recruiting, MDO expansion, diversifying our worship experience, care system for first-time guests to full-time members, and Connect Groups.
The funny thing is about a discernment process is that you have to be open to unexpected possibilities. While this pandemic has challenged our ability to meet together in person, our SGI teams have boldly stepped forward in this process of enhancing our faith community.
The work of discernment is never done. We still have a long way to go. However, it is important to see how far we have come in one year.
To the participants who have given their time and attention, I give thanks.
I give thanks for the SGI team leaders who have tirelessly led conversations and helped form tangible steps forward.
I hope you will join me in celebrating what God had done so far through us and look with great anticipation of what is still in store for us.
My prayer is that you will continue to seek God’s guidance on how we can maximize the thousands of opportunities for growth and development.