May 21, 2016

Dear Church Family,

It’s hard to imagine we’ve now been together for eight months. I am so blessed to be your pastor. Cathryn and I appreciate your love, encouragement, and support.

In January, we extended our 2015 budget for six months (Jan-Jun) to give us more time to transition, and to adjust our fiscal year for budgeting purposes. July 1, 2016 begins our new ministry year and provides us with the opportunity to unite around our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ who go and make disciples, and to fund our vision for the coming year.

During my recent Get in the Game series, I shared the following 100x vision for Atlantic Shores Baptist Church:

Touching 100,000 people in the Hampton Roads area and beyond with the love of Jesus Christ by 2026 in a way that yields personal conversion, spiritual formation, family restoration, community transformation, multi-ethnic unity, social justice, and church multiplication.

When I shared this vision, I also said we would highlight one of the seven ministry outcomes each year. For 2016-17, we desire to touch thousands of people with the love of Jesus Christ in a way that yields family restoration. That’s why we’re calling 2016-17 The Year of the Family.

The Year of the Family

I think we can all agree that strong families are important to our church and society. God created the family to glorify Himself and as the primary place where discipleship takes place. That’s why the devil so relentlessly attacks the family. As a church, we must do everything we can to renew, restore, and strengthen families. Here are some practical ways we plan to do this in 2016-17.

Married Couples Retreat (Feb 2017 at Sanderling Resort)

Start 5 new off-campus life groups for married couples

Adopt 3 elementary schools and launch Good News Clubs in partnership with Child Evangelism Fellowship

Father/Son and Mother/Daughter events

Continue and complete our search for a Children’s Pastor

Establish family worship days on the 5th Sundays of the month (4x)

Refresh and re-launch our men’s and women’s ministries

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 fulfill the important mission and vision God has given to us.

Your Stewardship Commitment

I believe God’s work is worth the commitment of our time, talent, and treasure. Right now, the elders and our finance team are calculating the cost of ministry at Shores for the coming ministry year, and we plan to share those numbers with the church family soon. In the meantime, will you join Cathryn and me in prayerfully considering your financial stewardship commitment for The Year of the Family 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. On June 12 at 5:30pm, we will hold a church family gathering to answer your questions about The Year of the Family and our budgeting process. Please mail or bring your “My Stewardship Commitment” card to the church on or before June 19. We will vote on our budget on June 26. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity.