Doing God's Work

So here we are, a long-standing congregation with a new pastor. So, of course, we find ourselves with plenty of questions yet so few moments of interaction with the new guy. Ironically, this isn't exactly a new exercise. Look at Romans 15:7

 

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Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
— Romans 15:7, NRSV

We see verses like this throughout the Bible. This is nothing new to us, but what is different is of far greater importance. In Paul's letter to Timothy he outlines the numerous expectations he has for him as he and his church grows together. Read this with me:

11 These are the things you must insist on and teach. 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture,[e] to exhorting, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.[f] 15 Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
— 1 Timothy 4:11-16, NRSV

So in the midst of welcoming a new Pastor, you are right to bring certain expectations. The Pastor's role, should he or she be effective, ought to result in the salvation of many. However, let's not forget the opposite: should we fail, then we fail far more than just those in our immediate surroundings.

In the great commission, we are told that all authority given by God is given with the expectation that we make disciples in all nations, pouring into them, explaining our reasons for following, that they may receive Christ and realize God's good direction, that they too would be transformed. Of course, this transformation is entirely for their benefit, freely given, so that they too may reason, reveal, and recognize God with us. 

This means that all people can be lifted up, shook to their core, and they are then compelled to re-draw their own conclusions about God. However, to be clear, people are not etch-a-sketches: before coming to accept the Christian faith, one must reconcile their past experiences with what is being presented. 

Think back to when you first accepted Jesus as your savior. Did you have questions? Concerns? Did it make sense right away? Are you still making sense of that experience? If so, you're not alone. That's the point: the church exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ by providing the space, programs, resources, and events that allow us to build upon our common foundation. 

So that is our focus for this month: how are our current ministries (or those we hope to start) helpful in making disciples who make disciples for the sake of recognizing and participating in God's transformative work of the world?