July 1, 2017
Dear Church Family,
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Those words are not a headline in The Virginian-Pilot, but what if they were? Instead, you’ll find them in the second chapter of Acts and verse 47. They describe what God was doing inside the Early Church. What an exciting time and place it was!
These, too, are exciting days at Atlantic Shores Baptist Church as we begin our thirty-eighth year of ministry in Virginia Beach. Enclosed you will find our 2016-17 Annual Ministry Report as an attempt to capture, by the numbers, most of what God is doing at Shores according to the mission, vision, and strategy He has given to us. I hope it thrills your heart as much as it does mine.
It is always fun to look back and reflect on what God has done. But this is also a time to look forward to the next ministry year. There are many more people to reach for Jesus and disciples of His to make.
The Year of Community 2017-18
Our new ministry year begins July 1, 2017. We’re calling it The Year of Community because we desire to touch thousands of people with the love of Jesus Christ in a way that yields community transformation, one of the seven outcomes mentioned in our vision statement.
To do this, we must do a better job of connecting people in authentic, biblical community through life groups (Acts 2:42-47), and then leverage that ministry presence in neighborhoods and communities across the Hampton Roads area. As lead pastor, I am beyond excited about the plans the Lord has put on our hearts for The Year of Community, which includes the following:
Hire a Community Life Pastor to our pastoral staff
Recruit and train 2-3 volunteer life group coaches
Recruit and train 12 new life group leaders
Launch 12 new off-campus, geographic life groups
Achieve 45 percent of church family participating in a life group
Present 4 neighborhood movie nights as outreach into the community
Deliver a sermon series that encourages biblical community
Take Vacation Bible School “on the road” in June 2018 by launching at least 4 neighborhood backyard Bible clubs
Serve the needs of homeless students at Oscar Smith High School
I hope these extra ministry initiatives excite you as much as they do me. Of course, they are over-and-above what we already do every day at Atlantic Shores to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ who go and make disciples
Your Stewardship Commitment
The church of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world because of the gospel she proclaims and lives out. For that reason and more, I believe God’s work is worth the commitment of our time, talent, and treasure. Will you join Cathryn and me in prayerfully considering your financial stewardship commitment for The Year of Community at Shores? By God’s grace, it will take each of us doing our part to make it happen.
Where do I begin, you ask? Start with a tithe or ten percent of your income. This is the Lord’s number, not mine. He told us to “bring the full tithe into the storehouse” and then promised to “pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Malachi 3:10). Over the years, Cathryn and I have learned we can never out-give God’s ability to pour out a blessing. Never.
To help us plan well and make wise financial decisions based on anticipated giving, I’m asking you to share your stewardship commitment with our finance team by using the enclosed card and envelope . Hopefully this at least begins a discussion in your family about how you can make a gospel difference in the lives of real families.
Thank you in advance for your partnership in the gospel (Philippians 1:4).
Serving Him and you,
Dr. Ron Jones
P.S. Please mail or bring your “My Stewardship Commitment” card to the church on or before June 30. We will vote on our budget on June 11. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity.