I have no doubt that the victory at Bethlehem last Sunday night will have infinitely greater significance than the victory at the Metro Dome. I call it a victory, because we have prayed that God would overcome the natural differences of perception and opinion, and he did. We have asked him for a great spirit of unity and affirmation, and he gave it. That is what I mean by victory.
It was a historic night. We baptized 13 people, commissioned Karla Steinle to Peru, looked at 1 Kings 8:18-19, prayed, and then acted on six recommendations from the Long Range Planning Committee. Here are the results. Each motion was voted on separately. The numbers in parentheses () refer to the non-member opinion poll.
|1) Purchase the Hacking property||251 (32)||9 (3)||2 (0)|
|2) Build a 1500-seat sanctuary||236 (30)||16 (3)||11 (2)|
|3) Set the range $3-4 million||243 (28)||15 (3)||13 (4)|
|4) Raise 1/3 cash up front and 1/3 in pledges before breaking ground||231 (29)||17 (5)||12 (1)|
|5) Engage Nehemiah ministries as fundraisers||234 (29)||19 (4)||10 (2)|
|6) Form steering, finance, and building committees||245 (31)||7 (3)||9 (1)|
This is a remarkable consensus. I regard it as a vote of confidence in the integrity of the Long Range Planning Committee and as a vote of respect for the patient process followed over the last three years. I hear it also as a voice of hope and expectation that God is able to do more than we have yet seen him do.
Would you now make it a regular matter of prayer that the selection of the building and finance and steering committees would be based on spiritual, biblical principles? And ask the Lord that he would raise up men and women as faithful and visionary and hard working as those who served on the LRPC.
My heart is full of thanks to God for you. I count it the greatest privilege of my vocational life to be a pastor at Bethlehem. May the Lord guard our hearts and our ministries and our missions from distraction in these coming months. May we be driven deeper into God, not deeper into debt and business! May the great vision of our majestic Father go before us a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. And may God do what seems good to him.