“The first house Rachael and I bought was a 105 year-old beauty in inner-city Minneapolis. Even though it was old, with a foundation built by hand, it had been recently renovated, so we could move in and begin our lives in the existing structure. When we left that house 8.5 years ago to come here, we viewed Whitton Avenue Bible Church in much the same light as we did our house. This church family is–by Phoenix standards–an old structure whose foundation was laid by hand in the late 40’s and early 50’s by the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents of many sitting in this room. By the time we arrived in August 2005, the church had undergone a few rounds of renovation which, though they were fraught with pain and tears at the time, made Whitton Avenue a place where we believed we could settle in. This was not a fixer-upper, but there was still work going on under God’s direction.”
This is how my message began last night at our Annual Vision and Business Meeting. The rest of the message is posted on our website. The meeting was a meaningful time of rejoicing in God’s spiritual and financial goodness to our church and discussing current needs we have in our physical properties. Three items in particular merited further discussion before we make final decisions:
1. The expansion of our playground area. Greg Kinkel showed preliminary plans for a project that would secure our property for our little ones and provide shaded space for people to connect by the existing playground. Everyone was in agreement that we should budget for this, but it was decided that we would want to vote as a congregation on the final plans before breaking ground.
2. New ovens in the kitchen. A proposal was made to replace the low-functioning ovens in the kitchen to suit the needs of our congregation. A committee was appointed to research options and bring them back for a vote before budgeting a specific amount.
3. Joining the Arizona Chapter of the Gospel Coalition. In my message I brought up an exciting opportunity we have to affiliate with a group of like-minded Valley churches. I pointed everyone to The Gospel Coalition’s website to prayerfully consider if this is something we as a body want to do. I proposed that we vote on this at next year’s annual meeting, and it was suggested that we move sooner on this opportunity.
Because we do not want these items to drag out, we committed to meeting within two months to vote on all three. Please pray that God would grant us wisdom in how we manage our properties and articulate our Biblical convictions. I will be in touch with more information about The Gospel Coalition and our next meeting time.