by Tom Smith
What is a Feasibility Study? A feasibility study is conducted to determine the viability of an idea. It considers 1) the financial cost of implementing an idea; 2) contra-indicators that might prohibit implementation; and, 3) the risks/rewards should the idea go forward. The recent Feasibility Study conducted by IMF and Frank Wood included all of the above. The purpose was to consider ways to upgrade, remodel, or build on our current property. The ministry vision is to better connect people to Jesus and each other. The findings? Costs are significant but not prohibitive. Local zoning laws and building codes are favorable. Inherent risks are related to our willingness to change our methods. We will not do anything that would compromise our biblical message and mission. The study saves us time, money, and heartache later by helping us to pre-sort what is feasible. We are healthy and positioned to change for greater ministry effectiveness, if we can go forward together. Sorting “plan be” from “plan not-to-be” The feasibility study gives us a starting point, not an ending point. “Don’t expect one alternative to “jump off the page” as being the best scenario. Feasibility studies do not suddenly become positive or negative. As you accumulate information and investigate alternatives, neither a positive nor negative outcome may emerge. The decision of whether to proceed is often not clear cut. Major stumbling blocks may emerge that negate the project. Sometimes these weaknesses can be overcome. Rarely does the analysis come out overwhelmingly positive. The study will help you assess the tradeoff between the risks and rewards of moving forward . . ." http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/wholefarm/html/c5-65.html The study must be evaluated carefully to eliminate scenarios that don’t make sense, and to explore the most promising ones more fully. We also will gather input from end-users; those people who spend the most time in the nursery, kitchen, classrooms, etc. Some assembly required We are assembling a project team including at least one elder, one deacon and 3-5 people suggested by the church congregation. They will report to the elders who will report to the congregation a way forward to implement “plan be.”
by Tom Smith
The New Testament has a total of 260 chapters. If you read three per day you will easily finish in under three months. Why not join with others and plan to read the entire New Testament between January 01 and April 05? Begin on New Year's day and finish by Easter. Attached you'll find a copy of a reading plan that you can print to keep track. Chronological NT 3 month plan
by Tom Smith
Thinking about doing is something I do alot. I think about making a phone call. I really don't use the phone that much. I think about making a personal visit. I actually do a fair number of these over coffee, but I think about doing a lot more. Do you find yourself thinking about doing something only to not do it. Here's a tip. When the thinking exceeds the doing, doing even a little counts. On Christmas Day after breakfast but before our family feast, I thought about going on a long bike ride. I never did get the long ride in due to a number of factors. But I did go for about a 30-35 minutes ride and was glad I did. I read a tip for new bicyclists that said that "consistency is key." They said a weekly ride of only 15 to 20 minutes is enough to keep your body acclimated to the bike. Are you kidding me? Only 15 to 20 minutes? I thought "I can do that" and I did. You need not do a lot of thinking about it, but you do need to do a little bit of doing. Thinking about a long prayer time of uninterrupted communion with Jesus over a cup of tea or coffee with an open Bible? Do a little bit of praying and reading now, when you finish reading this short blog post. Thinking about writing a long newsy letter to a missionary overseas? Write a postcard. Thinking about having a spiritual discussion with a neglected neighbor? Say hello and ask about their day next time you are putting out the trash or mowing the yard and see them. Thinking about a romantic getaway with your wife over a weekend in a tropical paradise? Plan a week ahead and go out for a meal at a local restaurant without the kiddos. Whoever said "the thought counts" has given false solace to those who think about doing. In such cases, the thought counts for nought. The doing counts. James 1:22 says, "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
by Tom Smith
This is no joke. A truck driver, meat cutter, and a cop met in a small group for Bible study going over Sunday's sermon. They opened their Bibles and opened their lives with each other. Letting the teaching from Romans 8:17-30 sort through their personal experiences was not easy. They all had seen the rough edges of life and had no doubt that "Everything was broken" and indeed creation groans and people groan too. But they also knew that "Everything will be fixed one day" even though that may seem as far off as when Romans 8 was written 2,000 years ago. However, the hope "in which we were saved" is no vacuous wish upon a star. It is a certain hope in the Faithful One who made the promises (Hebrews 10:23). Our God is the One who has planned it all and brings it to completion. He foreknew, He predestined, He called, He justified, and He glorified those who love Him. He's working all things together for good--the good of the truck driver, meat cutter, and cop--of those called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). But wait, there's more! Besides the three already mentioned there's also a realtor, nurse practitioner, investment advisor, stay at home mom, and some other characters. Weekly meeting together, they are "assembling" together in the best way. They are putting Bible into life, fitting the pieces together, tightening up loose theology, finding where the 'spare' parts belong. This process only happens in small groups, not large group worship. In our church, small groups are working. They learned last Sunday that "God's goal is for our glory, not just getting by." Destined for glory, they are getting excited! At least excited in some small, Baptist kind of way. Nothing too showy, but very real nonetheless.