The 2014 CBF General Assembly was teeming with energy and vision, as Fellowship Baptists gathered in Atlanta to affirm and celebrate the powerful ways in which our lives are woven together for the sake of Christ and His kingdom among us.
In the coming weeks, I hope to share in greater detail and reflection about the sessions, events and significant connections that made this year’s General Assembly a memorable gathering. More importantly, I will be eager to update our congregation on how CBF ministry strategies (on both state and national levels) are being courageously reexamined, and restructured, to ensure a future of missional collaboration and vitality.
In the meantime, let me encourage you to visit this link.
Here, you will find news releases, blogs, articles, photos, and videos of the General Assembly, as it progressed. Most of the larger gatherings were video recorded, and are available for your viewing. This page is the most comprehensive summary of the General Assembly available.
Amid the large group gatherings, the worship events, the workshops and strategy sessions, Johns Creek Baptist could be found fully present, and playing an integral role.
For that reason, here are 3 reasons, my gratitude welled, and my pride swelled, at the 2014 CBF General Assembly…
1.JCBC Volunteers Showed Up In Force.
Dozens of our own JCBC members gave selflessly of their time and energy all week long, and in a wide array of ways. Many served as greeters. Some served as ushers. A few even handed out bags of peaches at registration. What charm! I also learned this week that JCBC was the only church in the greater Metro Atlanta area to provide a host of volunteers for the Preschool and Children’s Assemblies. I saw with my own eyes the hours many of our own put into making this event great.
For these energies and for that kind of devotion, I am grateful and proud.
2. JCBC Worship Ministry Was IN THE HOUSE.
On Thursday, our worship ministry led one of four Worship services. With very little surprise, I was once again blown away by the sheer power of our orchestra and choir. They led in congregational singing, and then as Pastor David White remarked, “they peeled the paint off the walls,” with the presentation of “Not Unto Us.” But as usual, with our worship ministry it is always more than music. The spirit of authenticity and humility with which they led was inspiring. In an equally inspiring way, (though invisible and inaudible to most) a few leaders in our worship ministry including our audio/visual tech team, spent HOURS setting and arranging the environment for worship.
For these expressions of devotion and service I am grateful and proud.
3. JCBC Ministry Staff Stepped Up To the Plate
When it comes to our church staff, I am by far, the most fortunate Pastor I know. We have an incredible team of uber-talented women and men, driven by their love for Christ and devotion to ministry. Let me put it this way, if there were a “Ministry Staff Olympics,” this team would bring home the gold. Friday afternoon, we led a special workshop entitled iMAGINEXT. We shared with other interested church leaders what we have learned (and are learning still) about mobilizing love in congregations and individuals. But even as we spoke about these strategies for mobilization that afternoon, I was mindful of all the many unseen ways that love had been mobilized that very week just to get JCBC postured to serve at the Assembly.
Ed Rivers, our Operations Director, organized and rallied the troops from among our maintenance and admin staff to have prepare a staging area for loading and unloading all equipment for the Assembly (risers, plants, music stands, sound equipment, speakers, video monitors, etc.) Sue Bowron, Music Ministry Assistant and Rhonda Byrd, my Executive Assistant worked tirelessly attending details great and small. Without the efforts of many of these unsung heros and more, it simply could not be pulled off. The irony is that we pastors stand up and say the things that may get printed or remembered or quoted. But without the faithful support of dedicated team, it simply couldn’t happen.
For that, I am exceedingly grateful and proud.
Johns Creek Baptist Church