Change can be positive or negative…but we know it is inevitable. Things change – it’s the nature of life. As I reflect upon the ministry of BFCN over the last several years, the winds of change have been blowing, and as a result, the landscape of BFCN is different. Think about a few:
- We welcomed a new pastor on staff – Dr. Richard C. Dodson (Pastor Rick) – who has now completed two full weeks of ministry with us. So far there have been no indications of his thinking, “What have I done?!” What a blessing Pastor Rick has been to me personally and to all of us on staff. His gracious and gentle disposition, heart for the Lord and His church, and ministry giftedness have already begun to make an impact. The more we talk and share our hearts, the more evident it is that he is a “kindred spirit” and embraces the distinct BFCN “culture” that has made us who we are over the years.
- Additionally, on the staff landscape, of course, we were saddened to see Ray Cole leave for West Virginia last fall. His absence is still felt among us in various ways, but we are pleased to report that Ray continues to be on the mend. Living near his family now, he presently drives truck for an oil delivery company, and has recently had the opportunity to preach several weeks as the pastor in his church had an emergency family situation. God’s plan is always perfect, even when we do not understand it. Pastor Bob will continue to serve on the pastoral staff during his transition to full retirement (June, 2014), providing the personal touch he does so well. With the changes, Steve Morton has taken on added responsibilities and will see his role continue to evolve as the elders address strategic planning with respect to the roles of each staff member. In the last several years, Tabitha Fitch’s role has been more formally identified as well – Children’s Ministry Director – and our children’s ministry and families have been so blessed as a result.
- The congregation has grown significantly as the Lord has led many who had experienced local church challenges to become a part of BFCN. This was not sought – nor expected – but these people have brought an added dynamic to our DNA, and we are blessed as a result of their ministry among us. Additionally, there are visitors in our services each Sunday, many of whom are choosing to make BFCN their church home.
- The facilities were expanded and enhanced – there is not a day that goes by (literally) when I am not struck by the beauty and functionality of our facility…and how blessed we are. “The Commons” has only enhanced our Sunday morning experience as people linger together in fellowship (and coffee of course!). There are more and more ways our facility is being used for God’s glory and we are growing as a visible presence in our community.
- Finally, and most importantly, there seems to be a “fresh wind” of the Holy Spirit blowing – We say often that the only way anything of eternal value will happen here is by the work of the Holy Spirit. It is His unmistakable work/fruit for which we pray. All of the programs and activities in the world will come up empty unless blessed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We are grateful that there are people being saved and baptized…believers taking steps of growth…and a spirit of excitement about what God has in store for us in the days to come as we seek to follow Him.
To that end, let’s join together with a heart of gratitude for the past…and expectancy for the future!
With gladness and gratitude,