2016Mar08 Steering Team

Meeting began at 7pm, opening in prayer. Shawn Lemon and Pastor Dave were in attendance to provide clarity and direction on what our purpose is, and why some of the guidelines were put in place. They reiterated the importance of not replowing old ground, and instead, focusing on what God has for us moving forward. A radius of 10 miles was drawn around the church, and approximately 60,000 individuals fall into the “unchurched” classification.
If we were to even target 5% of those, we don’t have the capabilities to handle them now. It was also clarified that the radius we should look is 5 miles, and that we also need to research where other SBC churches are, and make sure we won’t be encroaching on their region.
Further discussions also illustrated the potential options of an interim step between the “Big Picture” plan and where we are now. The possibility of leasing/renting a property, while continuing to look for property, or while we are building on new property was discussed. The need to focus on Christ, and seek His will in all of this was reiterated multiple times throughout the night. Suggestions included additional prayer, fasting, and meditation with the express purpose of seeking His will for the future of Smith Memorial.
Another point that was made abundantly clear was the question of “who is running this?” The answer to this should always be “God is running this.” If someone asks for more specifics, the elders recommended to the congregation that a team be formed with the express purpose of seeking God’s will for the future expansion of SMBC. The congregation then unanimously approved the creation of said team, and authority was given to the Steering Team to seek God’s plan for us, and bring a report back to the entire congregation for approval and confirmation.
At this time, Pastor Dave and Shawn left, and the team transitioned to a time of prayer. Our structure has been to split into groups of 3 or 4, and had corporate prayer within our groups. Not surprisingly, each group had nearly identical results from our time in prayer; a focus on seeking God’s will, and a desire to be in unity, both within the team and within the congregation.
After our prayer time, we had a report from two of our members, Drey Asbell and Joseph Miller, who went to visit Liberty Baptist in Hampton. The purpose of the visit was to look at what other churches have, and open our eyes to new possibilities. Liberty seats approximately 3,000 in their main sanctuary, up from 1,500 in their mixed-use room, which is up from 300 at their previous building. They have a very similar schedule as SMBC, with two services, and Sunday School classes meeting both hours. They also have a café that is open throughout the week, to provide a lunch alternative for working professionals in the nearby area. They also have two satellite campuses that stream in the main sermon every Sunday.
After reviewing the report from Liberty Baptist, a report from James Bisbee was presented. He put together a packet to show the available properties for sale, as well as potential “undeveloped” properties in the nearby area. Discussion of deciding which realtor to use was tabled until the next meeting, to allow for more time in prayer.
The team agreed to change to weekly meetings, since this is such a big undertaking, and there is a lot of planning and prayer that needs to take place. Additionally, the team approved the use of the newly created SMBC blog as a communication method to inform the congregation of our current status. Finally, Drey Asbell and Joseph Miller agreed to work on a shortened report that can be used to verbally update Sunday School classes and individuals who ask. At this point, the meeting was closed in prayer, with the next meeting scheduled for March 15.
In Attendance:
Robert Brady, Melanie Courtney, Jeremiah St. Clair, Jennifer Cava, Cheryl Stafford, Joseph Miller, Drey Asbell, John Wells, Al Johnson, Craig Bishop, Shawn Lemon, Pastor Dave Reid

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