[3.28.22] Member Gathering Recap

Dear Members, Attenders, and Friends of Portico Church,

On Monday, March 28, 2022 the Members of Portico Church gathered to discuss the life and future of our church. Member Gatherings serve an important role in keeping us connected, unified, and prepared to embrace the road ahead. Moving forward, we want everyone to be informed of our vision, plans, and priorities. The following is a summary of the March 28, 2022 Member Gathering.

Key Takeaways:
  • Let’s Be Brilliant in the Basics summarizes our plans and priorities for the remainder of 2022. This theme captures our need to build from the bottom up by focusing on the essentials: preaching, prayer, people, posture.  
  • A Leadership Transition Team has been formed to facilitate a smooth transition for both our church and incoming Lead Pastor, Jason Conner.  
  • The Elder Team has decided to move forward with purchasing a plot of land in Charlottesville, Virginia. Although there are no plans to build a new facility at this time, this decision provides an opportunity for a future building site that aligns with our mission.
One of the hardest things to do when exiting a difficult season is determining what matters most. Pain tends to focus our eyes on the past, making us unsure of how to feel about the  future. Like a marathon runner who wipes out in the middle of a race, our next step is to stand up, brush off the dust, tend to our wounds, and restore our pace towards the finish line. The beauty of being the Church is that we never run alone. Our victory is secured in Christ. The Holy Spirit is always with us––giving guidance, power, and purpose as we move forward together.

Plans and Priorities for 2022
Our focus for the remainder of this year can be summed up in a sentence: Let’s Be Brilliant in the Basics. This means clarifying, simplifying, and unifying our ministries around the simple goal of being the Church––an embassy of God’s Kingdom where we all serve together as ambassadors of Christ. Here are a few ways we will focus our efforts:

  • Preaching. The Word of God will continue to be our foundation. The Word will shape our lives, ministries, and community. This will be evidenced on Sundays not only in our continued preaching of the whole counsel of God, but in our focus on the Sacraments of Communion and Baptism (the Word experienced).  
  • Prayer. Portico Church will go as far as our humble, fervent prayer takes us. We plan on building a culture of prayer across all ministries. Expect to see prayer woven into our worship service in growing ways.
  • People. Portico is a family made up of disciples of Jesus. This year will see a renewed focus on resourcing your relationship with Jesus (discipleship). Leaders will migrate from primarily doing ministry––to primarily equipping you to live out your identity as a Believer (Ephesians 4:11-12).
  • Posture. Walking through a season of change is hard. The posture of our hearts will open the door for God to work among us. Let’s embrace a posture of patience and humility.
  • Leaders. Pastors, Desmond Glenn, Daniel Kwak, and Edward Robinson will begin adding their wisdom, expertise, and voice to the Elder Team in April. They are scheduled to complete ordination and be installed as Elders by this fall. The Deacons will be growing in authority and responsibility––especially as it pertains to working with the Elders in caring for the body. LEAD; a leadership development class/community will begin this fall. It’s open to everyone and is the first step in serving as an Elder or Deacon. Please consider joining.    
  • Members (previously called “Investors”). Membership is about taking ownership of your faith, place, and potential in the community of faith. Becoming a Member is choosing to make Portico Church your local family in the global family of God. It’s an act of belonging and sacrificial commitment. Want to know more? Attend Foundations. Foundations is an introduction to the community, theology, and values of Portico Church and our pathway to Membership.  
  • Mission. The first and necessary step in Creating Churches for Future Generations is being a healthy church. Our foundational mission is to develop and deploy Disciples of Jesus who are equipped to influence their world with the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20). We must focus on the root (which is strong disciples) before we can expect fruit (multiplying ministries and churches).  

Leadership Transition Team
Leadership transitions can be difficult. Installing me as Lead Pastor requires a well thought-out strategy for continued stability and strength. To help facilitate this transition, the Elders of Portico Church have established a Transition Team. The purpose of the Transition Team is to facilitate a smooth transition for both the congregation and myself, the incoming Lead Pastor. It is led by Jeremiah Hovis and comprised of Portico Members. The following are the key tasks of the Transition Team:

  • Connection. Create, facilitate, and promote creative ways for the Members of Portico to meet the Acting Lead Pastor in settings that allow for conversation and connection.
  • Assessment. Assess the Acting Lead Pastor’s readiness and fit to serve as Portico’s Lead Pastor.
  • Recommendation. The Transition Team will conclude its six months of service by presenting the Elders with a written recommendation report. The Elders will make a recommendation to the Members in September––asking them to affirm their decision by vote.  

This may seem like a lot of moving pieces, but taking the time to do this right will set us up for future success. To be clear, I’m not approaching this position as a trial run. I feel fully called to the role of Lead Pastor and love Portico Church. Even so, process matters and I’m fully submitted to the Lord in our future together.

Land Purchase
During the Member Gathering, we were informed of the Elder Team’s decision to move forward with the purchase of a plot of land in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is the same piece of land discussed with Members last year. Due to the leadership transition, no building campaign is being pursued at this time. Even so, the decision to purchase this land provides an opportunity for a future building site. Members have been asked to complete a Member Affirmation Vote on or before April 15, 2022. Here are a few reasons for moving forward with the purchase at this time.

  • Our due diligence period is ending in April and we need to either move forward or abandon our pursuit of this land.
  • If for whatever reason Portico Church decides not to build on this land, it is expected to be marketable, allowing for a resale and recoup of assets.
  • Our present leased building (IX property) has been listed for sale which will most likely trigger a future move.

Moving Forward
After three years of ministry, Jesus ascended to His heavenly throne leaving a small church of 120 disciples (Acts 1:15). Nobody expected this small band of Spirit-filled Believers to overturn the world. The resurrection of Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God––making it present in power. Let us never lose heart as we do the hard, necessary work of moving forward together. The same Holy Spirit that filled and empowered the tiny church in Jerusalem, is in us as well. Let’s focus on being brilliant in the basics as we trust God for our bright future.
Yours in Christ,

Jason Conner
Acting Lead Pastor