God is at work ahead of us.
God is already creating, reconciling, healing, and restoring the world. It’s what God does.
It’s not up to us to do these things. Our call is to begin to notice what God is already doing!
Fortunately, God did not leave us to our own devices.
In Jesus, God joined with humanity, and now is inviting us to participate in God’s work of creation, reconciliation, healing, and restoration.
This means we don’t have to invent, or re-invent, anything.
Following Jesus, who is always with us, we are called to discern God’s activity and join in.
The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection matters.
It matters that people know Jesus.
It matters that people experience the difference Jesus makes in everyday life.
In a post-modern cultural context, in which Christian faith is often seen as one option at a seemingly endless buffet of beliefs and spiritualities, we affirm that the Christian message is true and that we are called to share the good news of Jesus with others for the sake of the entire world.
The structure of church governance has changed over the millennia.
It has gone from loosely connected house churches to large, magisterial institutions to state-backed churches to voluntary denominations to non-denominational congregations to small networks of church planters…and everything in between.
In all of these iterations of church, what has never changed is the imperative for Christians to gather together to worship, read scripture, pray, and serve their neighbors.
However governance structures evolve, we believe that the Holy Spirit always has and always will gather Christians together.
Too often, leaders of Christian communities feel as if leadership is their sole responsibility.
It’s up to me, they think, to figure out the right programs and ministries, to get my people on board, to “save” this congregation or denomination or even Christian faith itself.
If that describes you, we invite you to free yourself of this burden.
You are not the primary leader of the local church.
What a relief!
That means it is not on your shoulders. It’s not your fault that the culture is changing and that the ministry practices you may have learned in seminary no longer work as well as they once did.
You don’t need to “fix” it.
Instead, learn to discern and follow God’s leadership.
It will make all the difference.
None of this work can be done alone.
The days of a professional member of the clergy “performing” Christianity for a congregation that pays for the service are long past.
Instead, we are called to help every Christian deepen their discipleship and follow Jesus in their daily lives.
This means helping to form Christian faith, as opposed to performing it.
It means helping people engage in spiritual practices of listening to God and neighbor, articulate the difference Jesus makes in everyday life, and become a presence of Jesus’ way of life and love in their communities and neighborhoods.
Everyone, not just the pastor, is called.
Thanks be to God!