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Called Business Meeting

After 12 weeks of our Healthy Church Initiative, we have come to a time of making a proposal to initiate a process of change in our church. This Sunday, November 20th we will have a Called Business Meeting to consider the following motion:

Motion to move in the direction of Replanting the church by electing a Transition Team to:

a. Oversee day-to-day ministry of the church, working with the pastor, staff and current deacons to ensure that ministries are being maintained.
b. Maintain clear communication with the church through regular family gatherings to update the church on the process of replanting.
c. Work with the treasurer to develop a temporary operating budget to be presented to the church in December to keep the church in operation until reconstituting.
d. Write new governing documents (Constitution and Bylaws) to reflect a new mission statement, new membership covenant, new leadership structure (membership role, pastor/elders, deacons), and other elements pertinent to the function of the church.
e. Investigate the implications and procedures for changing the name of the church, to be presented to the church at a later time.
f. At the appropriate time, lead the church in the process of replanting/reconstituting as a new church. There is no exact time frame for this transition to happen.

The Transition Team will NOT have the authority to act in any of the following ways without current church approval:

1. Borrow money or incur debt.
2. Buy or sale any properties on behalf of the church.
3. Spend any monies beyond the approved budget
4. Hire or fire any staff members/positions
5. Change the name of the church.

The nominees for the Transition Team are: Jimmy Hicks, Bernard Bull and Gabriel Reed. Pastor Miller will serve as an ex-officio member of the Team.


A New Beginning – Replanting: A New Church In The Same Location
Areas of Change:

Membership – new membership of those who want to be here and are passionate about what God is doing in and through the church. Raising the expectations of membership through new members classes, clearly communicating the expectations and responsibilities of membership.
(Shut-in members will be automatically received into membership.) The role of membership will not change. The Bible teaches that, under the lordship of Jesus Christ, the members of the church are the final human authority on matters related to the church. The  membership is responsible for such things as carrying out the various ministries of the church, electing and supporting the leadership of the church, to approve the annual budget and other matters of business related to the church.

Leadership Structure – Shared leadership among pastors/elders who will be responsible for spiritual nourishment and guidance of the church. The pastors/elders team would potentially be made up of staff and lay leaders, and would serve as the leadership team of the church. The pastor elders would be responsible for helping the membership serve in the areas of their giftedness through various essential ministry teams. Pastor/Elders are not a “decision making” body, but are charged with spiritually leading the church to fulfill its ministries. Deacons would be servant-leaders of the church, assisting the pastor/elders and the membership to meet the physical needs of the membership including campus maintenance as well as benevolence ministry, and others.

Ministry Focus

Externally, focused on connecting with and reaching our immediate community for Christ, serving and meeting significant needs in the community. Always looking for ways to build relationships with people in the community. Also looking for, promoting and supporting mission opportunities that enable us to fulfill the Great Commission of going into all the world and making disciples.

Internally, helping people grow spiritually in their relationship with God and with one another; emphasis on being disciples who make disciples. Always helping people take their next step in a discipleship pathway: Congregation (Corporate worship) – Community (Bible Study & Small Groups) – Core (DGroups, Disciple-making groups, leadership training) – Reproducing disciples (leading others to be disciples who make disciples). Each person is at different stages in spiritual development and not everyone will move at the same pace, but the mission of the church should always be on reaching and discipling each person whom God connects with our church. Renewed focus on reaching and discipling the next generations

Ministry Structure – ministry structure will be streamlined, reducing the number of ministry positions and teams, but insuring we are structured for growth. Pastor/Elders team will be responsible for making sure ministry participants are equipped for service. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Budget – resources would be targeted toward disciple-making and outreach/missions ministries.

Name Change
While a change in name is not essential, it is an important part of the overall process of change. A new name reflects a new identity and a new direction. A new name can also provide the opportunity for new engagement with our community and a great potential to reach new people with the gospel. Because the issue of name change is very sensitive and controversial, the motion presented is a motion to have the Transition Team investigate the implications of changing the name to be brought before the church at a later time. We are not, at this time, voting to change the name of the church. I ask that we continue to pray about this matter, and at a future time, as other changes take place, to revisit the issue at a later time. The motion being made is simply giving authorization to the Transition Team to investigate the issue for practical and legal implications and bring it before the church at a later time.

Also note, we are not removing ourselves from our historic partnerships with the Nolachucky Baptist Association, The Tennessee Baptist Convention, or the Southern Baptist Convention. We will continue to be a baptist church.

The suggested name below comes from myself (Pastor George) out of an experience of transition in my life from a few years ago. The Lord has continued to impress this name upon my heart and has led me to share it with the congregation. It is a suggested name, but should the church vote at some point to change the name of the church, the membership would also select the name, whether Grace Point or another name. The word “Grace” also gives us an opportunity to reflect the values of our church.

Grace Point Baptist Church
Growing people in the grace of the Lord for the glory of the Lord.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.         2 Peter 3:18 (ESV)

The name of our church should reflect our values and who we are becoming in Christ.

A Church of G.R.A.C.E.
Gospel is proclaimed.
Relationships are built.
Accountability is practiced.
Christ is glorified in all we do.
Everyone is being discipled.

Thank you for prayerfully considering these changes.

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