Thank you to all who asked and submitted questions about our Renew strategy! Our team of elders has compiled answers to these frequently asked questions. Please continue to reach out to an elder if you have further questions.
Over the past 3 years, much has changed in the world, in our local community, and in our church. In addition, for the period from 2010 to early 2022, our church attendance had declined 56%, while the population in Loudoun County had increased 35%. In early 2022, our community was coming out of COVID and our church was in a period of reinitiating all our ministries. It was a particularly good time to do a thorough reassessment and consider changes, rather than just continuing with the status quo. Such reassessments are consistent with good stewardship, effective shepherding, and leading with diligence, particularly under these conditions.
First, our Renewal plan includes substantially increased spending on World Outreach: $100,000 more over 2023 and 2024. Second, the increase in staff is nearly entirely toward adding a Pastor of Family Outreach and Discipleship. This was considered a strategically essential investment to build back our base of disciples, which has declined considerably over the past 12 years. A stronger base of disciples will support stronger world and local outreach by personal engagement in those critical functions, and through their obedience in giving, will also support increased funding for world and local outreach. Our spending on world outreach has remained relatively flat over the past few years, consistent with our flat overall budget. Growing disciples, consistent with Jesus’ clear charge in the Great Commission, should grow our budget and our ability to spend more on world outreach. That is our intent.
For additional context, our base of missionaries has changed or will be changing over the next one to two years, with over 60% of our missionaries coming off the field for various reasons. While this is the case, we are still increasing our giving to world outreach through special Renew projects over the next two years, while we simultaneously reassess and redeploy our core world outreach budget.
Finally, both World and Local Outreach are important goals of our renewal, and it is important to hold the perspective that funding our BRBC staff is essential to our Local Outreach.
Technology is an area where investment leads to a clear impact on direct ministry. Technology today is an extremely efficient way to improve outreach (local and world), discipleship (personal and family), and worship (in our lives every day and in community on Sunday).
We intend to multiply our effectiveness in outreach by providing online, on-demand, equipping of the saints to reach their “neighbors.” And we will efficiently promote the gospel and gospel activities to our neighbors directly by targeted online outreach.
We intend to use technology to connect us more vitally to our missionaries; to know their immediate needs and to know them … their challenges, their prayer requests, and to participate with them in their praise. We envision our missionaries participating in our worship and us participating in theirs. (All this will consider missionary safety as paramount.)
We intend to multiply our effectiveness in discipleship by providing easy access (via QR codes, scannable by anyone’s phone) to our preaching ministry inside and outside the service. A variety of life-on-life discipleship resources will be enabled online and available via the QR codes as well. Our parents’ discipleship of their children will be enabled further by online resources directly related to the children’s RIDGE class hour, along with age-based online parental support groups. So much more is envisioned here related to men’s and women’s ministry, leveraging commute time, and the support of viral fellowship and discipleship. This an extremely important and powerful way to multiply our effectiveness, and our faithfulness, in discipleship… too much to mention here.
We intend to further enable our personal, daily worship by providing worship resources directly to our congregation every day. Christians who are helped to worship every day are transformed at the core of their souls. Like the church for centuries, we will use knowledge of acoustics and the technology of our age to help make our corporate worship exceptional, as each worshipper’s heart is like Mary’s at Jesus’ feet, giving the best she had, consistent with our love for Him.
Leveraging data management to efficiently help elders and staff focus and keep up with each congregant’s engagement in fellowship, growth, and discipleship is another vital area of technology.
Some of you are asking, “How can I get involved?” and “What’s my Renew ‘assignment?’” We want to make clear pathways readily available! A list of the Super-leads (the staff, elders, or ministry leaders taking point on certain topical areas) is included below; you are welcome and invited to reach out to them directly on a certain area of interest to you.
Being & making disciples
● David Parker (family discipleship/outreach) –
● Regina Gossage (family discipleship/outreach) –
● Jack Gill (flexible discipleship-adults) –
● Tim Murphy (flexible discipleship-adults) –
Our current bond payment plan would have them completely paid off by January ’24. The elders are considering the potential advantages of paying them off this Spring as part of our comprehensive annual reassessment of Renew activities, set for April ’23.
We believe our corporate worship together is just as essential to every person’s spiritual maturity as our own personal worship. We want to optimize our facility to a) seat as many people comfortably, communally and as safely as we can, b) create an aesthetic that is worshipful and makes a statement about the God that we worship and his beauty and worth, and c) establish much better acoustics so that the message of what we sing and speak are clear. It is also our hope that we can create a space in which people might even desire to have weddings in churches again. We would not only want it to be a worshipful setting, but one that frees our members from the exorbitant costs of a facility in our area.
We have seen the Lord’s blessing in giving us this property and building. We want to present to the community as well as our own members our desire to have a place that says: “We love children and we want to support families.” We have already found many, many of our church families, but also people in our community, using the playground we currently have. We believe that with a “best-in-class” playground we will not only give children a safe place to play, but it will communicate to their parents that this is a place that desires to see families ministered to and growing here.
Pastor for Family Outreach and Discipleship: To lead this central area for Renewal and to share preaching and management duties with the Senior Pastor, allowing critical time for planning and overall leadership of the church. Planned to begin in FY24.
Worship tech leader (part-time): To lead in the diversification of duties to support all ministries in our facility involving audio/video, broadcasting/recording for worship, outreach and discipleship live and for reuse now and for years to come. This position will be completely defined in FY23 and formally initiated in FY24.
God not only already abundantly provided most of the funds needed to kick off our Renewal, but through YOU he has also met our need for additional funds! In record time!
To complete the entire 4-year Renew strategy, our elders had communicated a need for $250,000 above and beyond tithes that had already been given. This amount has now been fully funded. God has truly provided to accomplish His specific work here.
Each April we will be doing an annual review of the process and financing required to continue to proceed. We’ll evaluate adjustments required for each effort, as well as financing. Each May we will then let the congregation know how we’re progressing. If there are additional needs or funding that we discover along the way, we will let the church know at that time. But for now, we’re considering this need met, which enables us to move full speed ahead, and are so grateful to God for His abundant provision.
There is still a need and an opportunity for you to participate! You can worship through your giving to our BRBC church budget, which funds our ongoing ministry this year. You can do that at www.brbible.org/give.