Category Archives: 2013-02

Pastor’s Pen for February, 2013

But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.  (Ephesians 4:15-16) The Gospels are quite clear that those who want to be Jesus' disciples are to love God and serve others.  Each of us is called by God and empowered in some way for ministry in Christ's name.  We all know this, but most churches don't know how to promote, coordinate and support this process. Over the past year, I have had many conversations with the Deacons about how we might do this more effectively as a church.  Our goal is to help people (members or non-members) to: 1) Recognize God's presence and activity in their lives, 2) Identify the ministry for which God has uniquely called and equipped them, and 3) Coordinate the encouragement and support for their ministry through the resources the church has to offer them.  We also believe that this process should be as enjoyable, encouraging, and individualized as possible – not burdensome, discouraging, or rigid.  We recognize that God calls most people to ministries outside the structure of the institutional church, and for that reason, the focus must be on each person's spiritual energy rather than on institutional considerations. After much deliberation, we think that we may have found a way to do this.  The process involves an individual 1-hour consultation to discuss three simple worksheets designed to sharpen the awareness of God's presence in one’s life, to help decide how to respond to that divine activity, and to explore ways the church may be able to help.  There will be no pressure to think or act in any preconceived way, nor any assumption that a person is doing anything "wrong" or isn't doing "enough."  There will be no attempt to teach something you aren’t interested in, persuade you to do something you don’t want to do, or to critique your life in any way.  Instead, the emphasis will to discover, explore and affirm the motivations and resources that are yours already.  We intend it to be an exciting opportunity for growth, and not a burdensome or irrelevant obligation . . . and certainly NOT a waste of your precious time! During the coming year, I invite you to meet with me to engage in this process of support and discovery.  This process can take place in the comfort of your home, or in my office, whichever is more convenient for you.  A sign-up sheet will be available in Steele Chapel during Coffee Hour, or you may call or email me to set up an appointment.  The more people that participate, the more effective the results will be – for individuals, and for us as a church.  I look forward to all the exciting conversations that I will be having in the year ahead! – Duane