The DHF of NC Leadership Council met with five of our council members present along with a host of visitors from Otway CC, FCC Richlands, Tuckahoe CC, and Pleasant Hill CC. We also welcomed Harry and Beth Niser from Bath, NC. We were also thrilled to have two visitors from Walstonburg CC in Walstonburg, NC. Mrs. Carol Taylor and her Sister, Susan Dietrich, came to find out what DHF is all about. Our special guests for the day were Rev. Wayne Kent and Mrs. Leslie Kent. Wayne is the new Executive Director of DHF and is the Senior Pastor of FCC Decatur, Ill.
Our meeting was opened by Elder Danny Bailey who shared his recent experience at the Billy Graham Cove along with his wife Irene, Rev. Kenny Conner and his wife Debbie and their Son and Daughter-in-law. The speaker was Will Graham, Franklin Graham’s Son. The topic was “Satan’s Snares and God’s Blessings” based on 1 Samuel chapters 18-20.
- Lynn Maxwell gave the financial report provided by Rev. Betty Stowe who was unable to join us for the meeting.
- There were two nomination forms submitted for new council members to replace our two outgoing council members: Rev. Jack Mumford, Otway CC, and Elder Danny Bailey, Amity CC. The group heartily thanked these two individuals who have served our council faithfully since its inceptions, and both were a part of the original team that worked to establish DHF of NC. The two nominations were: Elder Judy Rose from Otway CC, and Rev. Lynn Maxwell from Pleasant Hill, CC. The two nominees were approved by the Council. Their names will be submitted to all DHF of NC Churches for approval. If approved, they will be affirmed at our Fall Gathering on Saturday, Sep. 22, 2018. At the next Leadership Council following the Fall Gathering, the Council will appoint a new leader for the council.
- Lynn recommended that Elder Danny Bailey take over the position as Secretary of the council. The recommendation was approved by the council. Danny will assume this role at the next meeting of the council. As Secretary, Dany will attend all council meetings but will not be a voting member. We are very grateful for Danny’s willingness to serve in this capacity.
- The major topic of the meeting was to finalize plans for our DHF of NC Fall Gathering, Sat., Sep. 22, 2018 at FCC Richlands.
- We are very happy to have Rev. Wayne Kent as our guest preacher for this event. We are doubly blessed to also have Leslie Kent to sing at our Gathering.
- We will have King’s Grace to provide music for our morning session. Lynn is working with Rev. Rick Vernon to see if we can get the 902 Praise Band for our afternoon session. (See NOTE 1 below).
- We all agreed to have the Richlands Piggly Wiggly Deli to cater our noon meal as they did last year. Lynn will speak to them and give them a firm number once we determine how many will be attending.
- Once all the music is finalized, Lynn will develop a poster for churches to use in advertising the event. Each church should advertise the event as widely as possible. Lynn also mentioned that he had spoken with Rick Vernon about another time slot on his show to advertise our event. (See NOTE 2 below). It was also suggested that we advertise in the News & Observer in order to get greater coverage. Jack Mumford suggested we look into advertising in the “Our State” magazine. Although it is probably too late to get something published in this magazine before our event, Jack suggested we look to advertise DHF of NC in the magazine in the future.
- It was recommended that we have Rev. Kenny Conner to preside over Holy Communion at the close of our event. We will identify others to serve at each Communion station as we get closer to the date.
- Since FCC Richlands is the host Church, it was recommended that we have their Board Chairman, or Rev. Ray Randall to open the event and welcome everyone, and to lead in the opening prayer.
- We will ask FCC Richlands to take care of registration at the door.
- Following our business meeting, we welcomed Rev. Wayne Kent to speak to the group. Wayne played the piano and Leslie led the group in singing two hymns; Great Is They Faithfulness, and Amazing Grace. Wayne spoke about his early years in ministry working in missions throughout Eastern Europe. He was Pastoring FCC Decatur, Ill. when DHF actually began in 1985 and has been actively involved with DHF throughout its history. Over the years he has seen his church in Decatur, Ill. grow from around 200 to 2,500. As the Executive Director of DHF, Kevin wants to use the Pastoral and technical resources available within the Church in Decatur to reach out and help churches to address whatever challenges they need help with in order to adapt to change, remain viable and to grow. Wayne emphasized that the age old problem of organizations doing the same old things the same old ways and expecting different results is a recipe for failure. Although the Gospel never changes, the methods for reaching the unchurched in today’s society have to change if the church expects to grow.
- Wayne spoke about how new-Church Pastors have one major focus, and that is “finding people” to bring into the church. In the beginning, that is the number one focus. The next focus is bringing those people together for worship, and then following with Education in the Bible. Once the church is going well the attention naturally turns to Administration and the money. This phase is followed by a focus on the church building program. Lastly, after twenty years or so the focus turns to caring for those members who helped found the church and get it going. All along, as the church works through each phase the tasks of the minister increases to encompass all the priorities that have been developing along the way. At the end, most of the minister’s time and energy is spent caring for the church, and very little focus is applied to “finding people” like it was in the beginning. When the focus of finding new people is lost, the church begins its inevitable slide towards its eventual closure. This all seems so basic, but in reality, the task of “finding people” requires a lot of commitment by everyone in the church, as well as a lot of innovation and change to keep the church viable and growing along the way. Wayne pointed out that what works in one community and culture is different from what works in another. The emphasis must be on exploring what works in your community, and then the whole church working at that one thing with a lot of energy.
- We all thoroughly enjoyed Wayne and Leslie’s time with us and are enthusiastic about working with them in the future. Much thanks to Judy Maxwell for the great refreshments she provided for the meeting. Our meeting was closed in prayer by Lynn Maxwell.
- I was not able to secure the 902 Praise Band for this year’s Gathering; however, I texted Wayne and Leslie and they agreed to do a music session in the afternoon. I was also able to get Mr. Tracey Whaley of FCC Richlands to sing a couple of songs for us also. So, we are covered for music.
- Rick Vernon has advised me to call and set up a taping for Sep. 5th. I will use this opportunity to advertise our Gathering.