From Vermont’s Green Mountains (which I see through my office windows), to New Hampshire’s White Mountains, to the Colorado Rockies, I’ve had a life-long love affair with the majesty, beauty, and grandeur of the mountains. It began when I was boy. Dad and I hiked various Rocky Mountain trails.
In my teens, I helped others appreciate the mountains. Friends and I hiked various paths in the Colorado Rockies. Some paths led to the perfect shot at a big buck or bull elk. Sometimes the destination was a mountain lake or trout stream to catch our dinner. Occasionally, we simply wanted to hike to the top. Walking a lot of mountain paths, I learned an important lesson: before following a path, be sure to know where it leads.
In the introductory post, I invited you to join me in my ponderings on the path to victory. Before joining the journey, I’m sure you want to know more about our destination.
When the Lord called my family to launch Northeastern Baptist College, we began with intense prayer and planning. We were led to outline a twenty-eight-year strategic plan, divided into seven-year periods. Milestones were set for each seven years.
Firming the Foundation for the Future was the first seven-year theme. The Lord blessed our efforts, His good hand was on us, and NEBC passed ten major milestones. This fall we enter the second seven-year period, Forming the Framework for the Future. Twelve milestones are before us.
- Complete Construction on all Current Facilities
- Secure a Downtown Campus
- Identify and Secure Housing for Married Students
- Achieve Financial Stability
- Endow the Work Study Program
- Develop a Hybrid Distance Education Program
- Achieve Regional Accreditation with NEASC
- Expand our Department Chairs, Faculty, and Staff
- Expand our Bachelor’s Level Offerings
- Launch a Master of Arts Program
- Launch an Academic Journal
- Grow to 500 Students
Reaching these milestones is a God-sized task. The path is steep. We need help. Significant financial growth is required, so the Lord has led us to focus on two areas.
First, increase the number of monthly supporters to meet the college’s ongoing needs. Ask the Father to inspire 1000 churches and 1000 individuals to add NEBC to their monthly giving budget. This is crucial.
Second, we have launched a major giving campaign. Haggai 1:8 is the theme verse, “Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified, says the LORD.” Our Forming the Framework for the Future campaign has three phases.
- Phase One – $5,000,000 – by December 31, 2017
- Phase Two – $5,000,000 – by December 31, 2018
- Phase Three – $20,000,000 – by October 27, 2023
Our Path to Victory includes all twelve milestones and all three phases. Like I said, “God-sized task.” But why invest time, talent, and treasure in any other kind of task?
God is at work in the Northeast! He is using our students, staff, and faculty to lead people to Jesus and help the churches. Henry Blackaby says, “When you see God at work, it is your invitation to join Him.” Will you accept the invitation? You can pray, give, come on a mission trip, or tell what God is doing in and through NEBC. Together we can impact the Northeast with the Gospel of Jesus!
Now that you know more about the path to victory, you’ll better understand my ponderings along the way. Today, I’m pondering the anticipation and excitement the Father has placed deep inside me about walking this path with Him. The anticipation reminds me of the first time Dad took me on a hiking trip. We were going to conquer one of Colorado’s Spanish Peaks. He had hiked the Peaks many times. He knew the way. I just had to follow his lead. I couldn’t wait to get above the timberline, yet every step brought new excitement and adventure. I learned to love the journey almost as much as the destination. I’m feeling the same about this journey.
With Great Anticipation,
Mark H. Ballard