From Pastor Michael
In the nearly sixty-year history of Sherwood, there have been great hours, great events, great ministries, and great moments. We are at one of those moments today. In many ways, what we do now will impact and influence generations for the next fifty years. While we have historically taken bold and aggressive steps of faith, we’ve never taken one as bold as this one.
As a body of believers united in prayer, we must also unite in our sacrificial living and giving to make this vision a reality. “The 2020 Vision: Meet the Need” will allow us to expand the borders of this church to the uttermost parts of the earth. In bringing this vision to you, the pastor, staff, Dream Team, and deacons are unanimous in our re-affirmation that we will be a Great Commission church.
Sherwood started as a mission church. Today we are still a mission church. We have already planted churches, and we want to plant at least nine more before 2020. We have been given the Coke Plant for local missions, and we are going to effectively use that facility as a base for meeting needs in this community.
We have been good stewards of the facilities we have here. Many of these buildings are now almost fifty years old, and they have served us well. We will now provide facilities that will serve us well for the next fifty years. Don’t think of buildings as much as new, bigger, more inviting spaces to reach out to the 88% of our region that doesn’t have a church home. Missions begins at home, and we want our home base to be strong and up to date.
In addition, we will expand ReFRESH® to six conferences around the country by 2020. These conferences have helped several thousand pastors over the last few years. Our plans are to expand to areas like the West and far North to encourage pastors and church planters.
I view all we do as missional. Whether feeding the homeless or educating the next generation at SCA (where we have 400+ students five days a week), we must use, develop, and expand every avenue available to us to continue to “reach the world from Albany, Georgia.”
Most importantly, we are adopting an unreached and an unengaged people group this year. This is a lifelong commitment for this church in addition to ongoing mission trips that we currently take. Taking ownership of a people group means we are going to pray for, work, serve, give, and go in every conceivable way in order to take the gospel of Jesus Christ into that country or region.
All of this is possible. You’ve been faithful in the past to every call of God on this church. This is our time to trust Him again. We are asking you to give ten million dollars to make this vision a reality. In doing so, Sherwood Pictures (which is a missional arm of this church) will use a portion of movie resources to match your gifts. For every dollar you give (not pledge, but give), that dollar will be matched. This will allow us to accelerate all of these ministries in ways we could have never imagined before.
As we strengthen our Jerusalem, our outreach to Antioch becomes more effective and efficient. By moving boldly and giving sacrificially, we will be able to begin all of these projects immediately rather than spreading them out over ten to twelve years. Instead of phasing the updating and rebuilding of facilities, we will do them all at once, saving us over ten years and allowing us to be fully functional on this campus with expanded facilities by 2016.
So, here we are—a defining moment. It takes courage to make a bold step. God has called us to be courageous. Can we, at this time, do anything less? I think not. Let’s meet the need in our church, in our community, and in our world. The end result will be thousands of people given the opportunity to hear the gospel through the ministries and members of Sherwood.
For the Vision,
Michael Catt—Senior Pastor