Our Direction – Where We Must Go
Taking a Deeper Look at What God is Doing
Start with Why
First Baptist Church Wimberley exists to bring Glory To God!
- We must answer the “why” before we can answer other questions.
- The commitment is to God through the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
- We can never alter our message or intent based on culture or tradition. We exist to bring glory to God!
What do we do?
We build lives that honor God.
- Our passion…Our life commitment is to live all for Jesus.
- The pathway to honor God is by Building (making) Disciples.
- We honor God by leading people into God-honoring life change through spiritual transformation.
- There is no life change void of commitment. We will be committed to God, each other, and ask for that same commitment from all who are a part of this family.
- Everything we do and say should be shaped by our commitment to build lives that honor God.
“Consider long and act quickly”
What starts here changes eternity…. all for Jesus!
Building Lives that Connect
We long for every person to be connected to Jesus Christ and connected in His Church. Jesus wants every person to have a personal relationship with Him that the Bible calls salvation. This relationship makes all believers a family; therefore, we can have a spiritual connection with each other known as the Church.
Building Lives that Grow
A relationship with Jesus Christ is marked by spiritual growth. This connection is not measured by knowledge alone but by the believer becoming like Christ in character. It is God’s desire that we see like Jesus, think like Jesus, believe the best about people like Jesus, and react like Jesus in every circumstance. The goal of the believer is to have the mind of Christ and this work is only completed by God through the power of the Holy Spirit and connection with other believers.
Building Lives that Serve
The Bible says “whatever your hand finds to do, do it for the glory of God.” God wants us to use our hands to serve Him by serving people. We believe that every member is a minister and every task is important. A life built by God is a life intentionally equipped for ministry and engaged in ministry.
Building Lives that Share
God expects those of us who believe to be on mission with Him. We are called to introduce others to Jesus Christ. A life built by God is a life that seeks to be intentional to share the love of God with people wherever they go. God wants us to build authentic relationships with people in order to have the opportunity to share with them the hope we have found through the love and grace of God as revealed through Jesus Christ. Loving people and sharing the love of Jesus is also done through actions of rescue and compassion–doing the good that needs doing–loving the ones who need loving.
–These four commitments lead to–
Building Lives that HONOR
A life built by God is a life of devotion. It is about worship. Worship is more than singing or attending a church service. It is a life that is transformed by the love of God where everything is an act of devotion and all we are and all we have is not “mine” but “His.” Life is then measured by an intentional commitment to connect, grow, serve, and share focusing on Jesus Christ in all we do.
Holiness is our response to God with our whole person. He has called us to be holy as He is holy.
“…but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” – 1 Peter 1:15-16
Prayer expresses the reality that we are completely dependent upon God.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
We will live open and honest lives before God and each other. We will inform the people and trust the Lord in every area of leadership.
“O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.” -Psalm 15:1-2
We are a part of the bigger movement of God; therefore, we will partner through relationships wherever God invites.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
All that we are and all that we have are His. We will give of our time, talents and treasures generously.
“Now I say this, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound in you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
People matter to God; therefore, they matter to us.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
We are better together than we are by ourselves
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” -Matthew 18:20
Unity reflects the heart of God and brings His blessing.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” -Psalm 133:1
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” John 17:22-23
Great environments that are relevant, creative, and fun, create space for God to move.
Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way. -Titus 2:10
God delights in leadership modeled after the servant leadership of Jesus Christ.
“…but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give up His life as a ransom for many.” -Matthew 20:26-28
We will pursue excellence in everything we do. Our desire is to build excellence in people for God’s glory.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” – Colossians 3:23-24
Theological Values we embrace and adhere to
(From the Baptist Faith and Message 2000)
Our creed is the Bible, the sole basis of our belief, composed of sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. This scripture entirely originated with God, and it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. Thus, scripture at one and the same time speaks with the authority of God and reflects the background, styles, and vocabulary of human authors. The scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full, and final authority on matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. (Matthew 5:18-19; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
There is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of whom possesses equally all attributes of the Deity and the characteristics of personality. In the beginning, God created out of nothing the world and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom, and goodness. By sovereign power He continues to sustain creation. By His Providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes. (1 John 5:7; Genesis 1-2)
The central purpose of God’s revelation of scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Him. Originally created to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way and was thus alienated from God. Man suffered the corruption of his nature, rendering him unable to please God. The fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered those consequences and thus are in need of the saving grace of God. The salvation of mankind is wholly a work of God’s free grace, not in any way the result of human works or goodness. Each person must personally accept Christ by repentance and faith. When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation. (John 3:16-18, 36; Luke 13:3 & 5; Romans 5:18; 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 20-28; Ephesians 2:8-9)
Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity. He was united forever with a true human nature by the miraculous conception of the Holy Spirit, being born of a virgin. He lived a life of perfect obedience to God the Father, wholly atoning for the sins of all mankind by dying on the cross as our substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all those trusting Him alone. He arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for those belonging to Him. He shall come again to earth personally and visibly to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. (Isaiah 7:14, 53:1-12; Matthew 1:20-23; John 3:16)
The Holy Spirit
The essential accompaniment of the genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a life of holiness and obedience attained by believers as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The work of the Holy Spirit is to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior, and regenerates them. At salvation, Christ permanently indwells believers, becoming their source of assurance, strength, and wisdom. He uniquely endows each believer with gifts for building up the body of believers. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the scriptures. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father. (John 14:26, 16:8)
Death seals the eternal destiny for each person. For all mankind there will be a resurrection of the body into the spiritual world and a judgment that will determine the fate of each individual. Unbelievers will be separated from God by condemnation in Hell. God’s judgment will reveal His justice in consigning them to eternal retribution as a result of their own rejection of God. Believers will be received into eternal communion with God in Heaven and will be rewarded for their deeds done in this life. (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 21)
There is one true church universal composed of all those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching the Word, observance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, fellowship, service to His church, and outreach to the world. Whenever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to His command, there is a local expression of the church. Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying God. (Matthew 16:17-19; Colossians 1:24; Hebrews 10:24-25)
Perseverance of the Saints
Those who have received in faith Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will never fall from grace and be lost, but shall persevere to the end. Though they may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Holy Spirit, impair their Christian growth, bring reproach to the church and temporal judgment on themselves, they will not lose their saving relationship. God in Christ has given to His people eternal life, and they shall never perish. They are kept by the power of God through faith into salvation. (Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:28-39; John 10:27-30)
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ in which the believer is immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is a sign of the believer’s identifying with the death and resurrection of Christ and of his obedience to God to live and walk in newness of life. (Matthew 3:13; 28:16-20; Mark 1:9; Luke 3:21-22)
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the fruit of the vine. It is to be observed by the Church until Jesus Christ’s return. In no sense is it a sacrament; rather, it is designed to commemorate His death on the cross for the sins of mankind. This observance is always to be preceded by solemn self- examination. (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; 11:23-26)
Marriage and Sexuality
The term “marriage” has one meaning, the union sanctioned by God that joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:22-24; Matthew 19:4-6)
God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. God commanded that no intimate sexual activity occur outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual immorality – such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s biological sex or to otherwise act upon any disagreement with one’s biological sex – is sinful and offensive to God.
Vision That Unites Us
We See a Day…
- When everything we do is for God’s glory
- When our church Family is engaged in heartfelt worship
- When life change is normal, expected and celebrated
- When we are a multi-ethnic family of acceptance and love
- When we are truly the fellowship of the broken who have been redeemed
- When people come to Jesus everyday
- When baptisms are exponential
- When we are not just known for being friendly, but people are welcomed into circles of love, friendship, and hope.
- When families become Christ-centered
- When our character as a church is expressed in our actions, and our knowledge of scripture shapes the behaviors of our lives
- When everyone is connected into a group
- When we are a place for recovery from life’s hurts, habits, and hang ups
- When our spiritual maturity influences the culture
- When every member tithes
- When every member is a minister
- When we allow God to take our misery and transform it into ministry
- When we have a well-defined leadership pipeline and clear expectations for God-honoring leaders
- When we are a “go to” church for leadership development for the global church
- When we provide resources that build lives
- When we empower and release leaders into ministry
- When we staff on purpose and empower members on purpose, based on their S.H.A.P.E.
- When we have a local P.E.A.C.E. center doing good and loving people
- When we are directly influencing 5 countries in the world through relationships, resourcing, and reaching people
- When we are focused externally and not only on ourselves
- When we expand our local reach to the 100-mile radius
- When we join God in ending slavery and human exploitation
- When we influence government to love God and love people
- When Wimberley can’t imagine life without FBCW.
- When our campus is a destination for building lives
- When we have adequate space to provide for children, students, and adults
- When we have a regional training center and housing for interns, pastors, and leadership gatherings When we have an extended reach though campuses beyond Wimberley
How do We Build Lives?
Experiences We Will Create
These are the experiences of the overall ministry that we will strive to create week-by-week that will move us toward the Glory of God and Vision of our church.
Everything we do will start with prayer. We will create opportunities for corporate prayer and develop intentional strategies for personal prayer. Prayer will not be a program, but a lifestyle.
The Weekend Gathering:
The weekend experiences of FBCW will be creative and culturally relevant. Through the use of the arts and biblical exposition, God’s truth will be brought to everyday life through a thematic experience. These experiences will provide opportunities for the non-believer to encounter Jesus Christ and the believer to grow in deeper devotion. In all environments, we will strive to represent the welcoming and embracing grace of God to all who enter our doors.
Groups@First with the intent to Grow people in spiritual maturity
Groups@First will be the primary place for care, evangelism, and discipleship. These groups will be led by trained leaders with a coaching structure in place to help meet the needs of those leading. All study materials will be approved by the pastoral staff, be structured around biblical truth, and groups will follow the Groups@First guidelines and leaders covenant. This ministry structure will be in place for every age group and divided along relational, geographical, life need, or age lines.
Because everything rises and falls upon leadership/discipleship, First Baptist Church will build an intentional leadership/discipleship training experience called Next Steps. This leadership training experience will consist of teachings on the four biblical commitments of
- Connecting (Step In — becoming a part of God’s family which is mandatory for membership)
- Growing (Step With — how to grow into Christ-likeness)
- Serving (Step Up — discovering your ministry SHAPE)
- Sharing (Step Out — on life mission with God)
This process is core to the discipleship experience. We will develop experiences based on these basic commitments and other critical topics and bible studies that will vary in intensity and expectation. Each of these short term discipleship experiences will have a beginning, intermediate, and advanced option that will keep driving commitment into the hearts of our people.
Because every member is a minister, First Baptist Church Wimberley will equip and expect every person to be involved in a ministry. We will seek to join God where He is working. Every ministry will have a leader, and every leader will have a team. Requirements for leadership will vary according to type and scope of ministry, and those requirements will be determined by pastoral staff. No ministry will raise monies outside of the church budget without pastoral approval, or function in such a way to bring shame or reproach upon the church, or the Lord.
First Baptist Church Wimberley will be on mission as described in Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:42-47. We develop vital relationships with other groups and leaders in order to reach and resource people, leaders, and organizations for God’s glory. This environment will include Missional Communities, which are groups who connect around causes, projects, people groups, or other missional activities for the global glory of God.
Familylife@First will be a comprehensive and intentional ministry to preschoolers, children, and students. We will lead these groups to experience a life built by God at their appropriate age level. The core values, vision, and commitments will guide this ministry. This ministry will lead these groups to a life that Honors God by Connecting, Growing, Serving, and Sharing. This will be done through on and off campus gatherings, retreats, camps, projects, and activities. First Baptist Church Wimberley will provide needed staff, space, and budget.
We will provide needed space to best minister to people in the Wimberley valley. Our church campus will become s destination for gatherings, community events, training events, and building lives. Because of the beauty of this place we will enhance our campus to reflect the Hill Country, making it attractive for all to be welcomed.
What Do We Do Now?
Putting vision into action
Together we chart the course to fulfill our Values and Vision. What do we do now? What do we do next? What starts here changes eternity, all for Jesus!
- Host intentional prayer gatherings and seasonal prayer focuses.
- Build intentional prayer teams for prayer during and following weekend gatherings.
- Provide a prayer network for support and prayer “coverage”
- Provide needed pastoral staff
- Build a teaching team, alignment team, and creative team.
- Make sure all our teachings, groups, and personal devotional readings align.
- Preach for life change.
- Use the arts to touch the hearts.
- Create an environment of love and acceptance through exponential guest services.
- Align our artistic expressions with our weekend teachings.
- Expect God to move in, for and through the church, as we gather for His glory.
- Provide needed pastoral staff
Continue and develop a leadership pipeline of leaders who lead Building Lives Groups. This would include
- Sunday School, men’s and women’s groups, discipleship groups, and off campus groups.
- Providing aligning curriculum for groups based on weekend teachings.
- Providing groups with approved Bible-based materials.
- Create a clear pathway for people to connect in groups.
- Expand our group reach to include people who do not attend FBCW.
- Create a clear leadership structure to care for and equip group leaders
- Provide needed pastoral staff
- Develop and launch our core classes based on Connecting (membership), Growing, Serving, and Sharing
- Host a once a month leadership gathering for all ministries and leaders
- Develop and launch a systematic short term biblical foundations experience
- Develop and launch an online leadership process that leaders can access anytime and any place.
- Create clear expectations and guidelines for leaders of ministries
- Rewrite policies to reflect values and vision
- Provide needed pastoral staff
- Identify current ministries and their processes, leaders, and purpose
- Develop a placement process
- Use our Serve class and SHAPE profiles, empower new ministries, align existing ministries, and invite new leaders
- Develop a robust recovery ministry
- Write expectations and qualifications for all ministries and leaders
- Develop a clear process for folks to get into a ministry
- Promote and teach “every member a minister”
- Provide needed pastoral staff
- Develop a PEACE Center on our campus to bring humanitarian relief and a clear gospel presentation to people in need in the Wimberley valley
- Connect with local pastors and churches through BBA and other like-minded organizations
- Engage with the SBTC
- Partner with NAMB of the SBC
- Partner with IMB of the SBC
- Through other relational connections, we will engage the world for Jesus by relating, reaching, and resourcing for the purpose of bringing God’s peace to a needy world
- Provide needed pastoral staff
- Invite needed volunteers
- Align materials with the values, commitments, and vision of the church
- Provide a comprehensive ministry program for all age groups within the targeted ministry area
- Develop a strategic plan regarding age appropriate process for Honor, Connecting, Growing, Serving, and Sharing
- Develop an intentional intern program
- Provide needed pastoral staff
- Develop a master plan for our existing campus
- Build a team of gifted experts from within the church family to lead in the implementation of the master plan
- Evaluate the current space and expand the space as needed
How Do We Structure?
Structure must be designed to express the purpose and values, to support the vision, and to accomplish the objectives of the church.
Leadership Team (LT) – Administration, Connection, Groups, Serve, Share, Honor, and Family Life
This team exists to provide vision, values, ministry direction, and structure. This team consists of senior pastoral leaders who give oversight and direction to the ministry and operational areas of the church, along with the Lead Pastor, who serves as the spiritual and organizational leader of First Baptist Church Wimberley.
This team exists to provide strategy and objectives including design solutions and ministry implementation. This team will be responsible for implementing the vision and providing feedback and ministry solutions. The team will be comprised of pastoral team leaders as determined by and accountable to the Lead Pastor. Every ministry is to have a leader and every leader a team.
Global Staff Team (GST)
This team exists to provide delivery of ministry and involving all congregants through volunteerism. This team is comprised of all staff of First Baptist Church Wimberley including those who function in a volunteer staff role. These team members will report to various leaders as assigned by the Lead Team.
Advisory Leadership Team (ALT)
This team exists to partner with and hold accountable the Lead Pastor in giving spiritual oversight to the staff and congregation of FBCW. There will be a clear process of selection of this team that involves the congregation. This council will serve to give governance oversight to the FBCW family. The Lead Pastor will nominate a chair to this board and be affirmed by the board. The Lead Pastor will be a leader of equals in the decision-making process. The Lead Pastor may invite others from the lead team to join this group as deemed appropriate, but not as standing members.
Deacon Service Team (DST)
Deacons assist the Lead Pastor in ministry to individuals and family groups. Deacons are expected to be involved in the church and serve according to their gifts and calling. They are not an administrative decision making team. Their primary function is to promote the mission of the church to Build Lives that Honor God by connecting, growing, serving, and sharing, maintain a spirit of unity in the church, proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers, care for the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of members, and assist in the observation of the church ordinances.
The budget of First Baptist Church Wimberley is based on our purpose, values, and vision. The budget process aligns the needed resources to pursue the short and long term vision of Building Lives. The budget is both rigid and flexible: Rigid-based on fixed cost and flexible-based on the moving of the Spirit, and the needs of the ministry. The Annual Budget is based on an overall strategic direction as developed by the stewardship team and staff, then approved by the Advisory Leadership Team and congregation of FBCW. We budget on purpose, staff on purpose, and pursue God’s plan with His purpose.
*Other ministry teams are provided as needed to fulfill our mandate of Building Lives.
Who are we asked by God to reach?
First Baptist Church Wimberley is trying to reach out to everyone who is not connected to the family of God through a local church. Our primary focus will be on those who have yet to commit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Because this is a fast-growing and diverse area, we have identified some common characteristics of the typical person called Texas Tom and Terry.
Tom and Terry
- They prefer the casual and informal over the formal.
- They like contemporary music. Music and the arts are very important to them.
- They are looking for fulfillment.
- They are looking for meaningful relationships in order to connect, be mentored, and cared for.
- They are looking for a family.
- They are over-extended in time and money commitments. Their children are vital to their lives, controlling their time and money commitments.
- They are suspicious about organized religion and its benefit to their lives, but they have a strong desire to be identified with something bigger than themselves.
- They are slow in making lasting commitments to church, job, and even their families.
- Their family life has not met their expectations.
- They struggle with parenting and relationships.
- Recreation, fitness, family, and leisure are a high priority in their lives.
- They have a cultural religious background but are not committed to living All for Jesus, nor committed to a local church.
The Game Plan tied to Values and Vision
Nothing is more important for us as church leaders than to focus on how we can fulfill what Scripture defines as our primary task:
It is He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. – Ephesians 4:11,12
We serve God by leading; we serve God’s people by leading. The church is under our care, but she is owned by God, not by us. We should serve as stewards of what God has given us.
The bottom line: to Build Lives that Honor God by preparing people for works of service.
- Our purpose as a staff and church leaders is to “equip the saints.” Excellence is not found in our events, services, or programs, it is found in the people God has provided for us to lead.
- Our end goal is not an activity (or event) for activity’s sake, but maturity.
- Scripture sets a higher standard than merely good services, plans, or programs. We must return to the biblical priority established for us, which allows us to simplify our work around the essential task God has defined for us–Building Lives that Honor God, NOT Building Great Events that Honor God!
“We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.” Colossians 1:28-29
- We do not recruit people to run a program; we use programs as a vehicle to equip people.
- Building a culture of equipping is going to require bold prayer, careful strategy, and persistent, never-ending work. We must have a long-term view instead of an instant gratification short-term view. We can no longer merely ask if the event was a success; but rather, by doing this event were we successful in Building Lives!
Great ministry always moves:
- From recruiting to inviting
- From delegating to sharing the ministry
- From volunteering to serving
- From volunteers to servant leaders
- From administration to communication
- From what is to what could be
- From who is to who could be
The Kind of Leaders God Builds
We won’t equip people who are casually interested; we will equip the ones who are committed.
To determine whether people are committed, first we must make sure they know what it will cost them to become leaders.
We will be known for the leaders God builds, All for Jesus!
How Do We Measure What God is Doing?
We measure people by
- Influence in our community
- Attendance in our gatherings
- Engagement in groups
- Engagement in ministry
- Engagement in mission projects and adventures
We measure Resources by
- Leadership development
- Time investment
- Talent investment
We measure Life change
- Through relational integrity
- Through behavioral impact
- Through unity and the bond of peace
What starts here changes eternity…. all for Jesus!