Deep And Wide

West University Baptist Church turned ninety years old in 2018! At that time we began to ask the question: What will we look like at one hundred? Roger had been recently impacted by a pastor’s round table and some of the things he learned there. Tom Rainer, the CEO of Lifeway, pointed out that in the last one hundred years, humanity has experienced more change than in all the rest of known history. That is astonishing, but the more astonishing thing was that experts predict even more change in the next ten years than in the last one hundred! As hard as that is to get our minds around, we did grasp that if that were true, we would need to ask what that would mean for our church.
How will we make disciples in an age characterized by rapid change? How do we build up God’s Church and advance the gospel and the Kingdom of God? We began to wrestle with those questions. The Executive Council gathered, and we decided to form some vision teams to address what would be some of the hindrances to what was next at our campuses and come up with a master plan. How could we expand our ministries? Would we add campuses, expand the ones we have or start a network of churches and ministries? What would it mean for our schedule? What would it mean for doing discipleship in the digital age? We saw a tremendous opportunity for the growth of group life both on and off campus, but we needed God’s plan to capitalize on these possibilities.
We formed six teams and began to meet for prayer and dreaming. We realized that we could sit back and start celebrating all the great things God has done among us and say, “Let’s just keep doing what we’ve always done. Let’s not change.” Or, we could seek to aggressively advance the vision God has given us for the future.
We believe these next moves to build up our groups on and off campus, to build up our infrastructure, to build a digital ministry infrastructure as well as a network that will have a city-reaching impact, are vital to fulfilling the Great Commandment to love our neighbor as we love ourselves and the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations in our own day and time. We believe that the church will get behind this, but we also believe it will fail unless God moves. So let’s keep going. Our prayer this season is in Ephesians 3:20-21.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
We are stepping into one of the most exciting seasons in the life of our church in more than 15 years. We are so thankful to be joined by Pastor Roger’s friend, mentor, and coach, Pastor Dan Hall, in the writing and filming of the Deep & Wide curriculum. Dan has pastored in churches for over 30 years. He has coached executives in the marketplace, in state government, and in the nonprofit world for many years as well. Roger and Dan share a deep bond, and we are thankful that he has agreed to join us on this project.
As you may know, Dan was instrumental in discipling Pastor Roger around the topic of generosity. He lives a generous life and his winsome spirit, teaching gift, and abiding faith will bless you as you watch the video sessions and engage with our roundtable. As you will find, Dan also will draw from a deep well of both Scripture and life application to enhance our study.
As we take our next steps together, we are trusting our Lord to extend our roots that we might widen our reach. These next two years will be some of the most transformative we have ever been through, as we invest in both our campus infrastructure and our ability to reach and disciple people in the digital space. We also have big plans to reach out to our city and further develop our network to do these very things. Thank you for prayerfully considering how you might personally go deeper in order to also go wider for the glory of God.
I’m Still Expectant,
Roger Patterson Signature
Pastor Roger Patterson

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