I’m honored on behalf of the Vision 2020 Implementation Team to provide you an update on the progress of God’s vision for our church.

As a quick reset, I wanted to review our Committee members with you: Elizabeth Baker, Chuck Bowers, Blake Fenn, Caleb Haynes, Geoff Johnson, Marty Lloyd, and Jesalyn McCurry. These committee members have been doing outstanding work thus far and I am thankful for their efforts. If you know these committee members well, you know they all bring very diverse skills and talents to the table. Dr. Dortch and the ministerial staff, as well as Billy Bates, have proven to be a tremendous asset to our team as well.

I also wanted to remind you of the structure of the Vision 2020 plan as approved by the church last fall. Each God-sized dream contains a provocative proposal with specific strategic objectives under each proposal.

With that background in mind, let me begin outlining our progress to date in regards to implementation. We as a Committee initially assessed the strategic objectives and in following the guidelines laid out by the Vision 2020 committee we determined the ad hoc committee structure was the most effective and viable means to establishing the management framework and team work necessary to accomplish each strategic objective. Eighteen Ad Hoc Committees were created and our team worked with the ministerial staff and input we had received in the first round of response cards we sent out, to build a slate of recommended Chairs for each Ad Hoc Committee. The Chair recommendations were submitted to the Nominating Committee and subsequently to the church body at the semi-annual church meeting.

Even though the initial round of response cards had gone out to church members soliciting their interest in the areas they would like to serve, we felt it was necessary to reissue Vision 2020 response cards in conjunction with Dr Dortch's six-week sermon series on each God Sized dream which began in January. The second round of response cards had each of the 18 ad hoc committees outlined so members could be more specific in their response.

Our team has been hard at work over the past few weeks collecting and organizing the responses and we have worked with the ad hoc committee chairs and ministerial staff to populate the committees. 124 members responded and we have placed 122 members over the 18 Ad Hoc Committees. Two members are moving out of town shortly. 

These proposed committee assignments have been submitted to the nominating committee and our Vision 2020 implementation team has been diligent to ensure all interested members are accounted for based on their response card submissions. Additionally, a ministerial staff member has been assigned to each committee in order to work with their designated ad hoc committee for support, guidance and assistance as needed.

Another area of emphasis to date has been the establishment of our means to properly communicate to you all the progress of the ad hoc committees' work as they make strides within their strategic objective.  

We have built out the framework of a communication calendar outlining each touch point with the church body. This involves both traditional and more new and creative means of communication. One key area of emphasis for us regarding communication is telling stories. We not only want to provide you with the nuts and bolts around the details of the progress of the work underway but also want to give you a glimpse of how lives are being impacted and how God is personally touching others for the advancement of his kingdom. 

You have also likely noticed the six God-sized dreams and corresponding taglines have been made more visible to our church and guests in bulletins and signage around the church campus. Additionally, icons have been created to visually attach God-sized dreams to the activities within our church. You will continue to see more touch points and stories being told in the near future.

Next Sunday, Dr Wilson, who you likely remember from our congregational conversations in 2016, will be meeting with all Ad Hoc Committee Members and Chairs, as well as our implementation team, to share some of his experiences working with other churches across the country on implementation of their visioning plans. 

This is a brand new process for all of us as a church body and there's no precedence or framework already in place so it takes time to establish…it’s not something you step right into and pick up where the last committee left off…but I'm so pleased with the progress and effort to date and really impressed with the diverse skill set of our implementation team. And most importantly this is God's work…and we continually remind ourselves of that truth…and we will remain ready and willing to be led by the Spirit.

Gil Murdock, Vision 2020 Implementation Team (Chair)



Perspective is fascinating to me. People can look at the same thing and arrive at completely different conclusions, not all of which are contradictory but some of which are complementary. Perhaps that is the reason we tend to value the importance of a "meeting of the minds."

We plan to have such a meeting at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in the coming months.   

Actually, we’re planning several such meetings. Beginning in January, we will come together for a series of congregational conversations around the future of our church and how we sense God leading us as we move toward the year 2020. You’ll be hearing more about these conversations as we get nearer to January, but essentially, they involve how we perceive God at work in our midst from the perspective of past, present, and future. Needless to say, I’m already excited about how members of our church will be affirming God’s movement among us in all of these varied ways.

The goal of these conversations is to arrive at what I’m calling a “20/20 Vision,” one that will guide our ministry efforts for the next four to five years. I think you can appreciate the attraction of such a vision and how it will focus our energies and abilities on how we might become with God’s help an even stronger fellowship. Many churches will be embarking on a similar journey; it’s time for us to do the same.

Fortunately, our church has a good track record of engaging in and implementing such plans. Many of the ministries of our church have been shaped by previous conversations, at least in terms of activities, facilities, and staffing. I’m hopeful that these pending conversations will offer the same guidance for our future together.

We have a great team to lead us through this process. Billy Bates will chair the committee, and he will be joined by Doral Atkins, Bob Baker, Meredith Cale, Dave Carder, Baker Crow, Renee Fenn, Laurie Jordan, Marty Lloyd, Gil Murdock, Chuck Redden, and Mary Scott. As you can see, we have a good cross section of our membership reflected in this committee, and their primary role will be to facilitate our conversations and then to glean insights that bubble to the surface. They will be guided in their work by Bill Wilson, who heads up the Center for Congregational Health, based in Nashville and Belmont University.  

But of course, the church itself will do the “heavy lifting,” as it should. So, get ready for an exciting journey, one that will make us more appreciative of the strong heritage we have as Mountain Brook Baptist Church and more excited about the future God has for us to experience. Your participation will be vital and your perspective indispensable. Stay tuned for updates, and begin praying now for God to guide us into the good and glorious future He has for us to know. has helped many congregations in such visioning conversations, and I know you’ll enjoy his leadership as well.

- Dr. Doug Dortch


Saturday, January 9


Our first opportunity to come together as a congregation to provide input in developing the future direction our church occurred on Saturday, January 9. We met in Heritage Hall for breakfast and then spent time in discussion centering around the reasons people come to MBBC and, more importantly, the reasons they stay! The aim was to arrive at some consensus on core values that will enable us to discern God's vision for our church and a path to its realization. Click here to see more pictures from the congregational conversation.

Check out this link to view a PDF of a slideshow summarizing Congregational Conversation #1. 


Sunday, January 31

During our first Vision 20/20 Conversation, we examined our PAST, and at Congregational Conversation #2, we focused on TODAY. The intent was to turn our attention to an internal look at MBBC.

Check out this link to view a PDF of a slideshow summarizing Congregational Conversation #2. 

We need to ask ourselves: where is our energy and passion TODAY, as a church? What matters most to us? What are we doing well that we could do better? Are there things we are doing that we need to reconsider? 

The link below will take you to the KoolAID Analysis document for you to use as a way to provide your feedback on a ministry. Please fill it out, print it and return to the designated area behind the Reception desk. 

We really appreciate your time and value your feedback. 

The Vision 2020 Committee

Click Here for a copy of the KoolAID Analysis Form 


To view Vision 2020 testimonies, CLICK HERE  


Sunday, March 20

On Palm Sunday, March 20, we had a combined worship service at 10am in the Sanctuary followed by lunch and Congregational Conversation #3 from 11am-1pm. Lunch and discussion took place in the CLC for our third Congregational Conversation.