Twelve years ago, I shared with our elders what I believed to be the three priorities for our coming decade. Not that we didn’t have other things to attend to, but these three would be our particular focus. I called them the “3 Ds”: denomination, debt, and discipleship.
First, denomination. We were increasingly aware that our denomination was moving in a direction we could not support. After years of working for its renewal, we felt the Lord calling us to a new church home. It was my conviction that, within 10 years, we needed to have completed that transition.
Second, debt. After three building campaigns, we had accumulated millions of dollars of debt. I felt the Lord leading us to ask the congregation to eliminate that debt and free up those resources for ministry.
Third, discipleship. I told the elders, “If we don’t hire young now, this church will just get old with me.”
Fast forward 12 years. Last June we celebrated one decade in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, our new and blessed denominational home. On January 3, 2021, we burned our mortgage, having paid off the last of our $5.5 million debt. This year, we celebrated our investment of $50,000 per month “Beyond These Walls.” As for “discipleship,” you only need look to the front any given Sunday morning and see how our intentional investment in raising up a new generation of pastoral leadership has borne fruit.
In other words, “mission accomplished!” Now what?
Last February, your elders gathered to ask that very question. “What do the next five years hold for Chapel Hill? In addition to continuing the vital work we are already doing, what are the three areas that deserve our particular focus?” We deliberated, we planned, and we prayed.
This Sunday, I want to share those plans with you. Including a few BHAGS (Big Hairy Audacious Goals!) They are in rough draft, of course. As we know too well, plans can change. But Beyond These Walls started with some BHAGS…and look how God blessed that!
There are some things you won’t want to hear second-hand. I suspect that some of what I share this Sunday will fall into that category. So, I hope you will be present, in person if possible, and join us as we prayerfully consider the next chapter of the incredible legacy that is Chapel Hill Church…by God’s great grace…and the part that you will play in it.
See you tomorrow!