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
Doing God's Work
How the church discerns a vision and takes action
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:
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?