Foundations in 2023

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:10–11
In each new year, the elders present a focal point for OBC to pray about and aim towards. In 2021, the theme was “walking in truth” as we sought to stand for Christ in a culture that pushed against his church. Last year, continuing our focus on the church, we focused on “the mission of the church.” And keeping that church focus in 2023, the elders are putting forward a vision that includes spiritual and church “foundations.”

This year, “Foundations” will be our focus in a number of ways. First, we will continue to make explicit the implicit ministries of our church. In 2022, we did this by revising our statement of faith. Over the course of many months and many edits, we added a preface to our statement of faith, one that connects our local church to the universal church—the one founded by Christ and his apostles. In that process, we said we would return to look at a church covenant in the near future. That near future is now here.

In 2023, it is our plan to teach on the wisdom of having and using a church covenant. Implementing a church covenant is not a new idea for our church. And historically, most independent churches have had some kind of covenant agreement. For us, we see the goodness of covenant in the way it helps us teach, disciples new believers, partner for ministry, uphold church unity, and foster community. Indeed, because “love for one another” is the cornerstone of any church covenant, we see this step as foundational for our life together in the body of Christ and to help OBC continue to walk together in grace and truth.

Continuing this theme of foundations, there is a second way we hope to lay foundations. Ministry councils, led by their elders, will continue to work on developing philosophies of ministry and processes for onboarding new members. As OBC grows, we face the happy challenge of stewarding the service of many, gifted members. Equally, in such a transient area, we have people coming and going all the time. To facilitate excellence, joy, and unity in ministry, we will continue to strive to make our foundational aims in ministry plain for all.

Third, with the growth of membership and attendance on Sunday morning service—not to mention the nursery—foundations also means praying for, giving to, and planning building growth. In the most literal sense, we may need to add some new foundations for ongoing ministry, and so this will be a prayer focus for 2023. Already, we have had conversations with realtors and neighbors to the church and we will continue to do that.

Last, for all the ministerial foundations that stand before us, our commitment to Scripture must be first and most. To that end, 2023 will be a year that focuses on the foundations, even the origins, of our faith. In May, we will (Lord willing) complete our study of John and begin a new series called, “The Business of Is-ness.” That is, we will answer questions like: What is man? What is male and female? What is government? What is a nation? What is a church? Because so many of our neighbors refuse to be bound by “oppressive binaries” and instead treat the world as plastic, we are going to focus on how God has made the world. In fact, we will double down on God’s creation when in the Fall we study Genesis 1–11 on Sunday mornings.

In between, we will study the book of Titus in the Summer, and we will offer a host of Sunday schools ranging from principles of body life (Spring) to principles of church ministry (Fall). To match our “Is-ness” sermon series, we will also look at Carl Trueman’s Strange New World. And we also hope to add some new Bible studies for women, ongoing counseling training, and updating our Pastoral Cohort process.

Long story short, we will by God’s grace continue to build on the foundation that is Jesus Christ in 2023. Please pray for God to confirm the work of our collective hands and plan to join us for many of these events.

For His Glory and your joy,

Pastor David

Posted in

David Schrock