How many of us who have had young children on a trip in our car to the mountains or the beach have heard the question, “Are we there yet?”  And then heard it several more times before you finally – and thankfully – arrived at your destination?  Well, all of us at Aiken’s First Baptist Church are on a journey of sorts as we are having Courageous Conversations about our large and wonderful campus, our physical and monetary contributions to our church and all of its missions.

When can we safely ask the question, “Are we there yet?”

Interestingly enough, the actual fun is not really reaching a “destination” per se, but taking intentional and measured steps and enjoying the journey!

On the financial side of things, our total revenues for 2023 were $986,760.87, expenses totaled $982,136.39 for a net positive of $4,624.48.  I consider that a small step forward in our journey, even though we did not reach our budget of $1,171.897.  We have right-sized our budget for 2024 to be $999,985, which is $13,224.12 more than our revenues for 2023.  I think a next step in our journey will be attaining our Ministry Action Plan (our budget) realizing that it is not just the number itself that is important, but rather our hope for missions – inside and outside – our church walls were carried out!  The best thing about our trip is that we can all get on the same page, each of us doing what we are best at, thinking outside the box when necessary, and enjoying each other’s company along the way, without having to ask, “Are we there yet?” because the journey itself is accomplishing our goal to be the best First Baptist Church we can be.

Pete Sampson, Finance Committee Chair