Discerning God’s Leadership for Richmond’s First
Baptist Church in 2013
It began in April, when the fifty teams, boards, committees, councils, and crews
of Richmond’s First Baptist Church began to pray, asking God to reveal His
direction for their groups and our church in 2013 and beyond.
Throughout the summer and early fall, the groups continued to pray and listen,
trying to discern what God is leading them to be and do… what part He wants
them and our church to play in His mission on earth.
On ONE Sunday, September 9, as we gathered to begin a new church year,
the entire congregation was invited to join the teams and leaders in this prayer
of discernment. It was on that day that we launched our year-long, every-member
mission trip – KOH2RVA: Bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia.
A number of initial mission projects began, with the anticipation that God will
continue to reveal His will and His direction as the congregation and ministry teams
continue to pray and listen.
On Saturday morning, September 22, the leaders of the church’s teams gathered
to share what they were hearing and discerning. As each team leader shared, they
added a stone to our “Ebenezer” – a monument to God’s provision
The following week, the congregation began to hear and see the visions the teams
had shared. They were posted on the KOH2RVA
website. Worshippers received individual prayer cards for each team’s
discernment as they entered the sanctuary. Each Sunday, the congregation swapped
cards and prayed for a different team. The cards are still available on the kiosks
in the church hallways.
The prayer, discernment and listening continued.
The teams developed estimates of the costs associated with the directions they
felt God was calling them to go.
A smaller group of leaders gathered October 13 to talk specifically about the
financial impact of what the church’s teams were discerning as God’s
leadership for 2013. The Senior Pastor led the meeting of seven associate pastors,
lay-representatives of the seven ministry areas, and two members each from the Budget,
Finance, and Personnel Teams. It was a morning of prayer, listening to details,
and discussion about the priorities that God was revealing for the coming year.
The prayer, discernment and listening continues.
The Pastor and the leader of the Budget Team presented the 2013 operating budget
recommendation to the
congregation on Wednesday evening, November 14.
In introducing the recommendation, Dr. Somerville asked the congregation to begin thinking
about the need for a capital campaign to raise money to pay for several of the proposals
brought by church teams during the discernment process, and to take care of many
maintenance needs around the church building.
The congregation approved the budget on Sunday, December 16.