The Voice - Pastor Kevyn's Monthly Newsletter

June 2023

Dear members and friends of Valley Park,

The month of June is the end of Valley Park’s “Fiscal Year.” Our budget, subsequent to approval of our membership, determines spending priorities from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. It is therefore important that all members pick up the “Proposed Budget” drafted by the Board of Deacons and distributed on Sunday, June 11th in order to review before the Congregational Meeting which is scheduled for June 25th. It is a central part of our church management to prioritize use of church income for the purpose of sustaining our ministries for the next year. Every member has a voice, and we invite you to ask questions and process your understanding before the Congregational Meeting. 

In addition, we will have a time for “Baptism” on Sunday, June 11th after church celebrating the commitment of people to embracing the “forgiving and transforming work of Jesus.” If you have not been baptized as a public declaration of your commitment to embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life,and you would like to be baptized, then let Pastor Kevyn know. 

Valley Park Membership: At Valley Park, we embrace as brethren every person who professes Jesus as Lord. We encourage a commitment to servanthood by every Christian and embrace every person’s willingness to serve. We welcome and encourage your display of Christian love at Valley Park using your spiritual gifts, talents and resources. There are many ways you can serve and make a difference in the ministries of Valley Park. We believe the health of a church depends on the commitment to servanthood of every person attending and participating in the life of the church. 

Why do We have Membership? Every church is composed of: people who are desirous of having a voice in the church; people who prefer to serve behind the scenes without recognition; and people who attend and enjoy but are not able to commit to serving. We realize there are times that life can be so complicated that additional commitments cannot be made.

However, Jesus taught that “the church” is not a building, but a people “called out of the world” to be obviously different. The word for “church” in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17 is the Greek word “ekklesia” (-“a people called out-”) which specifically accentuates that Christians are a people with a calling. Jesus was called by God. His commitment was to serve the family of God. He exhorted His followers to follow His example.  

 “You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’; and you are correct, for so I am. So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example, so that you also would do just as I did for you. Truly, truly I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

John 13:12-17

We, therefore, believe it is legitimate to “call people” who are members of the church “in Spirit” to display their devotion to the family of God through “church membership.” They become more than attenders. They become devoted members whose commitment to the Family of God will weather the good and the bad in the church. Additionally, we entrust more to those who are members.   

  • They are given our church budget and are asked to affirm it at our June 25th Congregational Meeting.
  • If they have concerns for anything that happens in the church or among church leaders, they are invited to talk to church leadership and request If 10 or more members want to call a special meeting, they have the authority to do so. 

In essence, Valley Park Church belongs to its members who are entrusted with decision making on all major changes in the church. The authority of the Board of Deacons therefore flows from the members who elect and empower them to serve on their behalf. The word deacon means “servant.” A deacon therefore serves the members on their behalf during the year. Members who become wise in biblical understanding and application are therefore elected and affirmed by the members to represent them. 

This format for managing a church is called “Congregational Rule.” For the most part, there is never conflict with this method of church management because it is overseen by those who are among the wisest in the church. But there is always the possibility of those considered wise stepping outside of what members think is healthy. With Congregational rule, there is assurance that members are entitled to answers, expressions of concern and voting on direction that the members believe to be the healthiest.

Membership at Valley Park may not change your life. You may be committed to the same degree with or without membership. But being entrusted with a voice may one day make a large difference in the church. I invite you to become a member of Valley Park. I have a booklet you can read to understand more about Valley Park. We can talk and you can decide if a decision to “marry yourself” to Valley Park would be important to you and the church. 

Pastor Kevyn