On the evening of May 7, our church family gathered for a combined Campus Catalyst Town Hall Meeting and Church Conference. Geoff Hemphill, church treasurer, opened the meeting by giving a financial report. Our church “is in great shape” this year, and is even doing better than at this same time last year. Hemphill thanked church members for their generous giving to our missions and benevolence funds.
“Not only do you give to the budget, but you give above and beyond the budget,” he said.
During the Church Conference portion of the meeting, Pastor Eric Thomas held a vote to approve the four nominated messengers for the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, June 13-14, in Phoenix, Arizona. The vote passed, and the four messengers are Eric and Eydie Thomas and Phillip and Jan Herring.
After the Church Conference, Pastor Eric moved into the Campus Catalyst discussion. He iterated that although the construction on and around our campus has been difficult, it has also been a big blessing. The visibility of our church facility from the highway has never been better. In light of that, we have updated the sign on our building from First Baptist to firstnorfolk.org to point passersby to our website.
Another positive from the highway construction project is that we gathered together as one body at one time for Easter at the Ted, and it was “a tremendous blessing as a family of faith,” Pastor Eric said. This is something we would like to make a regular once-a-year event if possible, he continued.
Pastor Eric then reviewed our Ten-Year Vision to see 10 multi-site locations and 20 church plants in the next decade. He also reviewed our First Norfolk Advance One-Year Goal: Between January and December 2017, we will launch a campus in our multi-site strategy. We are making progress toward that goal, but have not yet finalized a location for our second campus location. As soon as it is possible, church leadership will announce the second campus location and bring it to a vote before the church.
The time period for our first 90-Day Objectives (Jan. 1-March 31) is over, but Pastor Eric introduced the next 90-Day Objectives (April 1-June 30) to our church:
- Select and train leader/core team: We will call the church to pray God’s will for them to join the leadership and core teams to be selected by June 1. (The leadership team will be First Norfolk staff and lay people who will be the “point people” for the new campus. The core team will be individuals who commit themselves to take the gospel to that neighborhood in Hampton Roads.)
- Establish footprint at New Campus: Leverage VBS, student/young adults ministries in neighborhood of new campus beginning at occupancy of new location.
- Implement Communication Plan: We will implement intentionally the compelling communication plan for the church and community to tell the story of First Norfolk’s advance.
- Develop multi-campus ministry model: Identify core values to guide multi-campus ministry to reach neighborhoods utilizing best practices with each context by June 30.
“God has used this church for 200 years in Hampton Roads for His glory, and He wants to use it for another 200 years,” Pastor Eric said. “But we have to join Him on that journey.”
The Campus Catalyst meeting ended with a corporate time of prayer. Pastor Eric again asked our church family to be praying over the Call to Prayer points he introduced in March.
“To be a part of this journey, you can pray faithfully for God to shine brightly through this church as we seek to glorify Him and advance His mission.”
The next Campus Catalyst meeting will be on May 28 at 5 pm, and will be a significant time of discussion and a potential vote about the second campus location.