Did you make the list? Are you considered part of the leadership worthy to know what Mac's vision is for the future, which is a $20 million capital fund raising program?
Below are two emails sent to 210 people that Mac considered to be the "leadership" of the church. Its an invite to a private, invitation-only meeting held on November 4th for Mac to unveil the capital fund raising program. From what I can tell on the emails, the meeting was held November 4th.
Much of what was shared with this group (at least the promotion videos) are now available on the FBC Jax website under the "Next Generation" banner.
Its interesting that Mac decided to invite these members, and not the congregation for the meeting to fully explain the capital program. And why not tell the congregation about this meeting? Tell us that a group of leaders got together and confirmed the program, and are fully behind it? Why the secrecy?
More than likely here's the strategy (think "marketing" and "promotions"): do an early unveiling of the program with a small group of the believers at our church...let them feel very privileged to be included to get the "inside scoop". At the meeting, garner their full support. Get a verbal commitment out of them if possible. Let the pastor mingle. Shake hands. Get their support. Once these people have expressed their support, YOU'VE GOT THEM. They will then be the "seed" of support in the church, a bottoms-up generation of support. In fact in the follow-up email to the attendees Mac confirms they were all asked at the meeting to "pray, promote, participate, and plan." He is asking them to influence their "peer groups" at the church. Do you ever wonder why the forcefulness of pastor in getting us into the small groups? Why did Mac express such frustration a few Sundays ago saying "you have GOT TO GET THIS" (speaking of small groups)? Why small groups NOW? Why is it so urgent?Part of his strategy, I believe, is to use the small groups during the coming campaign, led by many of the people at this meeting, to help people see how they need to get behind the capital program. Nothing wrong or sinister in that, just pointing out what the likely strategy is so that we can all be informed.
For those of you who are not "on the list" and didn't get the invite, below is the email invite and the follow-up letter. Notice in the follow-up letter that Mac asked people to "Pray, Promote, Participate, and Plan".
Here is the email invite:
"Last week you received an invitation to attend a meeting regarding the future of First Baptist. You, as a leader in our church, have been specifically invited to attend because your leadership in this matter is crucial. We will move forward in ministry to the degree that you as leaders will lead us forward. I want to take some time to explain the strategy that the staff and I believe God has given us the heart and mind to pursue. I also will share with you the "how" of this strategy. How will we minister to a new generation? How will we establish a ministry platform that will enable this church to enter into its 8th generation strong, vibrant and well prepared for the work God has given it to do? You love this church, and I believe you long for it to fulfill its ministry. Please decide now to be a part of those who will lead us into the future, for the glory of God.
In order to make getting together on a week night a little easier, we are providing you a meal (free of charge) between the hours of 5:30 and 6:30. At 6:30 we will gather in the Main Auditorium for a compact and informative presentation. This will be followed by a dessert fellowship afterward. Child care for children ages birth – 5th grade will be provided (please bring a snack supper for your child). The meeting portion will conclude by 7:30 so that you can get home at a reasonable hour.
If you plan to attend the dinner, please RSVP today to firstname.lastname@example.org (265-7346). If you cannot join us for dinner, please come to the meeting portion. I look forward to seeing you at this very important meeting.
Then, after the meeting, a follow up email to the special 210 invitees, or at least those who showed up:
Dear Church Member,
Thank you for your participation in the leadership meeting last Tuesday night. At the meeting I asked you to do four things in regards to the Next 8eneration Campaign: Pray, Promote, Participate, and Plan.
To help you do all four, I have enclosed a summary of the information that we presented. This will help you as you pray, as you talk about the strategy with your peer groups, as you participate in each step of the campaign and as you plan what you will do in leading the way.
These are exciting days for our church as we serve together and share the Good News of Jesus Christ in Jacksonville and beyond. I am confident that God will use us to reach this city and the world with the saving love of Christ. I am eager to take this journey with you. Thank you for being a faithful leader in this work!
Because of Him,