Dear Church Family,

Lord willing, this coming Sunday night (9/24), the Long Range Planning Committee’s proposal for our updated church documents will be discussed and then voted on by all members present in our regular quarterly business meeting. These documents include our church constitution, bylaws, and policies. I wonder how many of you read “church documents” and immediately feel a nap coming on. There are some who argue having church documents is an outdated, overly formal practice. Others see documents as unhelpfully narrowing who can join our church. The list of objections could go on and on, but rightly understood, church documents are helpful, relevant, and—dare I say—even exciting.

Church documents are helpful because they clearly articulate what we believe and how we are committed to practice what we believe. Of course, we shouldn’t expect to find everything we could say on any given subject, but these documents do speak to the general convictions we hold in agreement as a local, Southern Baptist church. These beliefs, convictions, and their applications strive to be faithful to what the Bible teaches and as such, they are immensely relevant. We believe we exist to glorify God and that we do this by loving, cherishing, and obeying His Word. So, these documents serve to take Scripture seriously.

Now, I for one am excited about these updated documents—not because our current documents are so terrible, but because I think these better represent who we are as a church. These documents will serve as guiderails that help us maintain the unity that has been entrusted to us. These documents link us with the saints who have gone before us as well as pointing us ahead to faithfulness in our time. The Long Range Planning Committee has served our church very well and it is my joy to recommend their work.

With that being said, no church member should feel as though he or she is forbidden from asking any questions or suggesting any input. These documents will represent each one of our church’s members and therefore we want everyone to be involved in making these documents as good as can be reasonably expected. So, please involve yourself in this process by reaching out to one of the committee members before our members’ meeting if you are able to do so. Otherwise, please commit to being with us this Sunday night as we vote on these documents after the appropriate discussion.