Dear Church family,
After many months of research, prayer, legal counsel, and discussion, the Constitution Committee is pleased to present a new constitution and bylaws and corresponding committee manual for our church to discuss and vote upon in January (files available at the end of this article). These documents represent the consensus of the committee after hours of research, deliberation, and prayer. Not only will these documents fulfill the requirements to become a fully-incorporated and legally-protected congregation in the Commonwealth of Virginia, they also provide a way for us to identify, train, examine, and call men in our fellowship whom God is calling to serve as a pastor (or elder), so that, in time, we can formally transition to becoming a congregation led by a team of trained and tested pastors like those we have learned about recently in Acts (and throughout the New Testament).
Below we’ve highlighted the significant changes from our current governing documents. If the proposed constitution and bylaws and committee manual are adopted:
1. Our church will be fully incorporated, releasing Trustees and staff from their present personal liability as officers or employees.
2. The current Trustees, one additional trustee (to be nominated and voted upon), and the Lead Pastor will serve as the Board of Directors. Having a Board of Directors is a requirement for incorporation. The Lead Pastor will serve as president. The selection of future Trustees/directors (except the lead pastor) will be the same process as our current process for selection of Trustees (except the terms will be four years, corresponding to four Trustees, rather than the current three years, corresponding to three Trustees).
3. The Board of Directors is only given authority to handle the administrative details related to incorporation. The regular business of the church will proceed as it has in the past — i.e. motions, minutes, Treasurer’s reports, staff updates, and etc.
4. The Constitution authorizes the pastors to review the membership role at least annually and attempt to contact anyone who is not attending (excluding homebound, missionaries, military, etc.) and bring to the church a recommendation for removal from the membership role the names of those who “cannot be reached, who refuse a meeting or conversation, or who will not commit to regular, in-person participation in the life of the Church.”
5. The categories of service committees and administrative committees are eliminated and replaced with “standing committees.” The terms, number of members, and process of selection for standing committees is identical to the process for selection of the respective administrative committees currently. The standing committees will be: Nominating, Budget, Constitution and Policy, Personnel, Property, Audit, Counting, and Long Range.
6. Existing service committees will become ministry teams with a deacon representative/point of contact to call on/collaborate with as needed. Other ministry teams may be developed/created as needs arise in the future. Ministry teams will be more flexible with people being added or new teams created as needed. In the transition, existing service committees will continue to function as they do currently -- just with the added benefit of a deacon point of contact. The pastor will be able to create teams and appoint new additional team members based on the individual’s talents, gifts, experience, and interests.
7. We will have 4, rather than 6, regular business meetings annually. Meetings will occur in January, April, July, and November.
8. The roles of moderator, assistant moderator, clerk, and assistant clerk will still have one-year terms, but there will no longer be a limit on the number of years they can serve. They may be re-nominated and serve for as long as they are doing a good job and enjoy serving in this capacity.
You may review the documents that we plan to vote upon in January below. If you have any questions, notice any typos, or have any other concerns, please let us know. You may contact me at email@example.com, Cyndee Basham, committee secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Chris Beckner, committee chairman, at email@example.com.
If you would like to know more about the Biblical case for formally moving toward a pastor/elder-led congregation, I highly recommend the short book, Why Elders?: A Biblical and Practical Guide for Church Members by Benjamin Merkle as a place to start. Of course, I would enjoy the opportunity to talk with you as well about any questions or concerns you may have. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of these proposed documents.
In the abounding love of our King,
At the business meeting this coming Sunday, November 19, we will summarize the completed work of our architect, Visioneering Studios, for the schematic design phase for phase 1 renovations. The various files they have produced are available below.
Hello, North Roanoke!
Greetings and blessings in the name of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been very encouraged to see God at work among us over this past year, and I want to pass along some highlights and updates with this letter.
So far in 2023, we’ve seen people beat cancer, guests visiting nearly every week, and people trusting Christ and joining our family. We have welcomed 38 new members with thirteen of them coming to us through baptism upon their profession of faith in King Jesus. Along the way, we’ve also experienced significant growth in our preschool with new families attending and many parents who are taking seriously the Lord’s words, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28).
With the recent growth in our preschool and kids' ministries in mind, I want to provide an update on the progress we’ve made so far in the Treasure Jesus Initiative. If you are relatively new to North Roanoke, please allow me to explain the initiative. If you’ve been with us for a while, I hope this update and progress report will serve as a helpful reminder.
In the fall of 2022, we examined the Scriptures and considered the privilege of giving generously as an act of worship and an essential part of following Jesus. We saw that God does not ask us to give of our finances because He is needy but because we need Him. Infinitely more than our earthly treasures, we need Jesus. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In other words, our hearts follow what we treasure. North Roanoke is committed to treasuring Jesus. We can cultivate hearts for Jesus by prioritizing Him with our finances and generously supporting His work and His mission through His church.
At the conclusion of the Treasure Jesus sermon series (sermon 1, sermon 2, sermon 3, sermon 4), many of us made a 25-month faith commitment to the Lord. With those commitments, we indicated how we planned to give during the time period beginning with the first day of December of 2022 and ending the last day of December 2024. These commitments were made in faith with the understanding that unforeseen circumstances might impact our ability to give either positively or negatively. By God’s grace, many are on pace with their commitment, some are ahead of schedule, and others are doing what they can despite unforeseen challenges.
The primary goal of the Treasure Jesus Initiative is for everyone who calls North Roanoke home to take Jesus at His Word, treasure Him with our lives and our giving, and to trust Him to fill our hearts with a passion for Him and His glory in the process. A secondary hope for the initiative is 1) to fully-fund the church’s ministry plan (i.e. the budget) in 2023 and 2024 and 2) to exceed the budget so we can save additional funds to be used to improve our kids and preschool spaces and make the gym more suitable for worship as outlined in our facilities master plan.
In 2022, we estimated that we would need to raise $4M from December 2022 – December 2024 to fully-fund the budget and to move forward with the first phase of renovations. Since that time, the architects have been hard at work on the schematic drawings for renovating, relocating, and securing our preschool and kids’ ministry spaces as well as plans for updating the gym. We look forward to showing you their work as soon as we have the final renderings.
Until then, I want to share some incredible news. As of Sunday, October 15, God has provided $1,352,578 through the generous giving of His grateful people. God’s people are truly treasuring the King! These funds have come in a variety of ways — people have sold property and given the proceeds to the church; people have donated stocks; new members have begun supporting the church, people have changed their spending habits to be able to increase their giving, and, as I stressed in the sermon series, many have decided to trust God and just get started. Several of you have told me personally how God has been working in your life through this effort, and I’m overjoyed!
As December draws near, my hope is that we can finish 2023 strong. We are nearing the half-way mark of the Treasure Jesus Initiative, and I am overwhelmed by how God has provided so far. With every single gift made in faith, Christ is being magnified, and the plans for our facility are closer to being realized.
So, with this letter, I want to encourage those who have been giving faithfully to continue; God is doing great things through you! As we continue treasuring Jesus together, God will supply all we need to do all He has for us to do in exactly His timeframe. We are making great progress, and God is at work. For those who are new to the family and those who have not gotten started with the joy of generous giving, I want to encourage you to join us in the journey of treasuring Jesus with our treasures.
To get started, you can simply give to North Roanoke using the website, app, or a check. If you need assistance with a more complex gift (e.g., stocks, mutual funds, a car, a boat, a house, etc.), please contact the church office (540.563.5113), and we can point you to someone who can assist you. I appreciate you hanging with me through this lengthy letter, and I look forward to celebrating what God will do in these last couple of months of 2023. May He give us grace to keep on treasuring Jesus and to finish the year strong.
Because Jesus is the Treasure,
P.S. To learn more about the Treasure Jesus Initiative, check out the resource guide including the helpful FAQ’s beginning on page 45. Also, a .pdf version of this letter is available here.
Over the past couple of years, we have had a brief segment in our worship services called "Lessons in the Faith." Each "lesson" consists of a question and an answer. Paul has put together an excellent resource (below) that we can use to review these truths individually and with our families. I hope you will download this resource and make use of it as the Spirit leads.
See you tomorrow!
Good morning, beloved,
I hope this note finds you doing very well on this chilly March morning. I am writing with a reminder and a few announcements about upcoming events at North Roanoke.
First, I want to remind you that, tonight, we "spring forward" by setting our clocks ahead one hour. I know some of us (me included!) may be a bit tired tomorrow morning, so I want to encourage you to try to get to bed a bit early and strive to join us for 3D groups at 9:15. If you are running a little late, we understand, and we will have coffee ready for you in the Fellowship Hall.
Next, I will be leading a Discover North Roanoke class in the sanctuary at 9:15AM on Sundays (March 19, March 26, and April 2). This class is for adults who are new to our family of faith who are interested in learning more about our beliefs, opportunities to get connected, opportunities to serve, and how to join our church family. If you would like to join me for this class, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can have class materials ready for you.
I also want to let you know what to expect during the Easter season this year. We will have an egg stuffing breakfast (biscuits and gravy) on Saturday, March 25 to prepare for the kids' Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 1. You may sign up for the breakfast using a "Sign Me Up card" in service tomorrow. The kids' Egg Hunt will be at 10AM on Saturday, April 1.
On Good Friday, we will have a special service of reflecting on the cross of Christ. The service will include some baptisms. If you have questions about following Jesus in baptism or are ready to be baptized, please send me an email, and I will connect with you soon!
As for Easter Sunday, we will not have 3D groups, but we will have **two opportunities** to worship at **9AM and 10:45AM.** Please make a note of this change for Easter Sunday. By offering two services we hope to provide ample room in the parking lot and in worship for all who desire to glorify the Risen King Jesus with us. Prior to each service, we will have refreshments and beverages available for you and your guests in the Fellowship Hall.
Finally, I wanted to give you some additional information about the Treasure Jesus Yard Sale at the church on May 6 from 9AM - 2PM. This yard sale is for those who call North Roanoke home and want to donate all or a portion of their proceeds to the Treasure Jesus Initiative. Each participant will be responsible for pricing and selling their items. If possible, please bring tables, blankets, racks, etc. to display your items. The church will also have some tables and chairs available on a first-come, first-served basis. We look forward to seeing how God will use this opportunity to come together for a fun community event as we continue to treasure Jesus together. **If you plan to participate in the yard sale, please sign up using this online form.**
Thank you so much for hanging with me through quite a few announcements. I look forward to being with you in tomorrow morning!
In His abounding love,
Just a few Sundays ago, on January 1, I shared a message in which I challenged us, starting with myself, to focus on praying for the lost and taking the opportunities the Spirit gives us to share the gospel and invite friends, family, colleagues, and even complete strangers to join us for worship. At the conclusion of that message, we had an opportunity to write down the names of people we will pray for -- for opportunities to share the gospel with them, that others might share the gospel with them if we do not get an opportunity (or if they will not listen), and praying that God would soften hearts and draw sinners to the Savior.
Your response was overwhelming (even people who could not attend texted and emailed in names) and profoundly encouraging. I promised you we would compile the names (first names only), and that we, your staff, would pray for the people you listed in one of three categories -- unlikely to trust Jesus (based on our past experience with them), unknown response to Jesus (because we don't know them well or have not had an opportunity to discuss spiritual matters before), and unspeakable (because this person is so close to us and we are so burdened over their lostness that it is very difficult for us to discuss).
Earlier this week, a list of 391 names was finalized (you may access it below). I want ask you to consider joining the staff and me as we pray for these souls in 2023. There are 338 days left in this year. If we pray over six names every day, we could pray over each name five times this year. Or, maybe the Spirit would lead you to really focus on one particular category each month. However the Lord directs you, I know God hears and works through the praying of His people, and I know He is a gracious and saving God.
I invite (and encourage!) you to join us as we pray for friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and others who desperately need to heart the gospel, be convicted of their sins, and repent and trust in Jesus. Thank you for praying!
In Christ's love,
October 4, 2022
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Greetings and blessings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I am encouraged to be able to share with you some important information for our church family as we flip the calendar to October.
As you may know, back in July, by a unanimous vote, we adopted an updated master plan to guide our future facilities improvements. As the various committees have been praying and considering the best time and way to proceed, we have continued experiencing significant growth in our preschool.
As a result, the Long-Range Planning Committee recommended, and the church unanimously approved, the formation of a Fundraising Committee to guide our efforts in securing the support needed to update and unify our preschool and children’s spaces and make some aesthetic and acoustic improvements to the gymnasium to make it more suitable for worship.
If you have been able to join us on Sundays, you have likely noticed that people are gradually returning, and the Lord has graciously sent new people our way. If you are physically able and have not yet re-joined us for worship, I want to encourage you to come and get in on what God is doing – He is up to something! If you are unable to physically join us, I hope you are connecting through the livestream. If you need assistance with the livestream, please let Cindy in the office know; we would be delighted to help you.
Our church has been wonderfully blessed with significant gains in attendance over the past year, which has resulted in another remarkable blessing, exponential growth in our preschool. We now have an opportunity to wisely steward these blessings by pouring God’s Word into the hearts and minds of these precious children and by pursuing the completion of the first phase of the master-plan improvements.
However, I am convinced we need something more than an improved facility. We need a renewed passion for Christ. We need to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We need to treasure Jesus above all other treasures. Indeed, I’m convinced that when God graciously gives us an insatiable hunger for Jesus – when He is the One we treasure – the church’s budget and facilities will naturally follow. As Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21).
So, beginning later this month, we are going to do something a bit different. To put this as plainly as I know how, I’m going to pour my heart out for, I pray, our good and the glory of King Jesus. I’m going to urge us to be vulnerable and open before the Lord. I am praying daily, asking the Spirit to help us treasure Jesus like never before. We will have a series of sermons culminating on Sunday, November 13, with an invitation for everyone. That’s right, everyone who calls North Roanoke home will be encouraged to make a two-year faith commitment that represents what the Spirit leads you to give as an act of devotion to King Jesus.
We will not be having a typical “building campaign” or a “capital campaign.” Instead, we will examine our lives, be open to the Spirit’s leading, and make a commitment of our lives and finances to Jesus. I like to call this a “comprehensive generosity initiative.” Its focus is not primarily on a building but on our hearts and all that Jesus wants for us.
At this point, you may have some questions. I promise to answer those as we get started. We will provide you with a resource guide complete with FAQs and devotions for you/your family to read during the coming weeks. I am absolutely convinced that if we engage this season with intentionality, Jesus will do deep, profound, and wonderful things in us and through us. So, before we begin this initiative, I am writing to ask you for four things:
First, please do not surrender to skepticism. If you sense skepticism welling up within your heart, recognize Satan does not want you or our church to experience the victory that comes when we treasure Jesus together, and pray. Ask Jesus to soften your heart; ask the Spirit to make you open to God’s will.
Second, please pray for me as I prepare and preach each week and for our entire church as we respond to what God will show us.
Third, please make consistent use of the devotion because 1) like anything else, we will get out of this initiative what we put into it, and 2) selfishly, I put my heart and soul into the devotions because I love you and long to see God work powerfully among us.
Fourth, finally, and most importantly, be expectant and be present each Sunday. Do your very best not to miss. Pray with expectancy for God to work among us, and then, be present for worship. God works in profound ways in expectant and consistently-present congregations, and I am so encouraged when you are here for the worship gathering!
Thank you for your time and attention to this letter. I cannot wait to worship with you.
In His abounding love,
In our upcoming business meeting on Sunday, Sept 4, the personnel committee will move that we seek a part-time Director of Kids Ministries and a part-time Assistant Director of Kids Ministries to coordinate the church's discipleship efforts and outreach opportunities for kids. The two position descriptions for these proposed roles are available below for your information and review.
Good evening church family,
I want to remind you that we have *many* exciting upcoming opportunities beginning this coming Wednesday evening with dinner at 5:30 and classes/programming beginning at 6:30PM for all ages.
In His abounding love,
Good afternoon, North Roanoke,
Earlier this week, we enjoyed the longest day of the year and the official start of summer. Summer is a wonderful and action-packed time of the year -- a great time to get outside, take a vacation, tackle a home project, and serve the church in various ways (camps, VBS, etc). Now, thanks to Ethan's work, summer is also a time that we can come together and hide God's Word in our hearts over the next 8 weeks. I have included a .pdf file for the 8-week Scripture memory guide. Whether you find yourself at the beach, tackling a project, or serving, I hope you will use this guide as we hide God's Word in our hearts this summer.
In Christ's abounding love,