Wesley primed to grow as regional church
2012 Pastor's Report
Wesley is fast becoming a “regional church.” This year we welcomed 10 new members into our congregation. Our members come from as far north as Zachary and as far south as Gonzales. We have come to realize that we cannot continue to operate as a community church. Even though we are located in downtown Baton Rouge, we have no members living around the church. Thus, our location and spread-out membership make Wesley a perfect setting to be viewed as a regional church.
Our leaders have stepped up to their responsibilities, and more people are volunteering to do more. In order to grow larger over the next few years, we have started forming small groups. The congregation has for generations functioned as a community-centered church; but now our membership drives in from all over the regional metroplex. The goal of this small-group ministry will be to provide multiple, much needed community-centered ministry opportunities, while reconnecting members to one another and exposing non-members throughout the region to Wesley’s ministry.
Our financial outlook is stable and growing. We will be starting a series of small- group studies with a focus on tithing and family stewardship. Our finance team believes if the family is financially sound the church will be also. Our newly formed Fund Development Team, approved by members at our 2012 Church Conference, has the responsibility to create a long-range financial stewardship plan for the church and to establish a Wesley Endowment Program. The team’s immediate goal is to work with the conference’s Methodist Foundation on a planned giving project to fund our newly designed Family Life Center and office expansion.
Lastly, our Lay Leadership and Accountability Team has agreed to provide a minimum of three training opportunities throughout the year for our elected church leaders. Also, our continuing and newly elected leaders will sign a covenant in January committing themselves to worship attendance at least 75 percent of the year, participation in a small group, attendance at Bible study or Sunday School, and dedicated tithing or progress on a defined path toward tithing. They have adopted the philosophy that to be effective leaders, they have to be well trained, disciplined and committed.
Overall, our future is bright and moving forward. The excitement we are experiencing is catching on and overflowing. We will be better with God’s help, as we become ever more vital to the life and progress of the Baton Rouge Metro community.
Some of our goals for 2013 are:
a. Increase in worship attendance by at least 10%
b. Membership growth of 10% this year in the age range of 18-35.
c. Improvement of our physical plant. (parking lot, sanctuary, sound and video system)
d. Revamped ministries for youth and children.
Signed: Rev. Dr. Joe Connelly Date: November 1, 2012
Jesus said: "I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other."
Wesley's Congregational Care Ministry Team (CCMT) are persons equipped and empowered to assist the pastors in providing pastoral care to our members. The CCMT provides care, concern, prayer, and support for families and individuals at various stages and places, including:
• Homebound, long-term rehabilitation, retirement community, and nursing home visitation - to those who are no longer able to get out
• Flower delivery ministry – altar flowers are taken to those being visited
• Grief care ministry – prayer and support for members after death of a loved one
• Hospital aftercare ministry – transitional prayer and support after hospitalization
• Card and telecare ministry – cards and telephone cards
The CCMT meets regularly with the pastors for continuing training, supervision, and assignments. This partnership between lay and clergy enables us to provide another level of care for our church family.
If you are gifted and called to this ministry, or if you would simply like more information, please contact Rev. Bernadine Johnson or Walter Weiss, CCMT Coordinator. If you or someone you know has a care need, please contact the church office, Rev. Johnson, or Mr. Weiss.
NOTE: Prior to surgery a pastor will visit and pray with our members. Please let the church office know when someone is going into the hospital. In addition, the pastors are available for confidential, personal Christian spiritual and emotional care to individuals facing a crisis or loss.