Last week, we had our first ever Launch Team Members Forum at Seven Mile Road. A long while back, after one of our Members Meetings in Boston, I had written about my hope that the unity I experienced in Boston would be present at Seven Mile Road Philly. This first forum was a good step in that direction.
On Thursday evening, a handful of our Launch Team Covenant Members gathered together, shared a meal, and began our time in prayer. As this was our first shot at doing this, I opened the meeting by explaining Seven Mile Road’s ecclesiology and what it meant practically to be elder led with congregational involvement.
Our first conversation was about calling Anne Deitrich and Dennis Mathew to servant leadership roles at Seven Mile Road Church. We talked about how there are only two Biblical offices at Seven Mile Road Church – deacons and elders/pastors. These are spiritual offices of leadership that the Bible calls for and lays out the qualifications for those who would fill them. Anne and Dennis are not being called as either pastors or deacons. Rather, they are serving as support/staff/volunteers/something-like-that. With excitement, the members present received both Anne and Dennis into these roles. Anne will be leading the Nursery Ministry at the church and Dennis will be serving with administration. I’m so excited to have these guys serving in the life of Seven Mile.
We spent some time talking through our budget for 2009. Right now Seven Mile Road runs like my home – we do everything real cheap and spend as little as possible (which is certainly not always a good thing). We talked about needing to be good stewards of God’s money in both giving and spending. Conversations about money can cause a pastor’s palms to sweat and heart to race. This wasn’t like that. It was about as sweet and simple as you could get. And finally, we talked about our ongoing relationship with St. Marks Church where we meet on Sundays. We’ll be looking to serve them as they have been serving us with their space.
We closed with a time of corporate prayer where we earnestly sought God about the coming season at Seven Mile Road. Many of us have joked about church body meetings that we’ve been a part of in the past. It’s so common for these gatherings to be filled with disunity, teams, factions, slander, anger, and a bunch of other stuff that disgraces Christ. And yet, through no quality of our own, but by His grace, our Forum was flooded with unity, excitement, participation, laughter, love, and prayer. Thanks be to God. Excited about this next season.