August 16, 2023
Happy Birthday Cathi!
This past Monday, the ministry staff planned out the calendar for 2024. The Elders reviewed it on Monday evening. These kinds of conversations inform the Finance Team as they prepare the recommended budget for the Elders and ultimately to the congregation for review and approval. This can be and is a very good process for us all. But while the process can be helpful for communication, priorities and planning, think about what is behind all of this. It all has to do with what is the church and what is the church called to do.
Matthew 28.19-20 along with Ephesians 4.11-16 give us a clear answer. The church (ekklesia - the gathering of the called out ones) is to reach out to people with the gospel, bring people in with the gospel, build people in the gospel and send people out for the gospel. All of this is to be done for the fame of Christ, since the heart of the message of the gospel is what Christ has done for us. So, there you go; reaching out, bringing in, building up and sending out or sharing, inviting and gathering, equipping and encouraging and supporting and going.
Which of those describe you? Now, we should all be engaged in all of those, but some of you are stronger in certain areas than others. But, if you claim to be a believer, then by all means you will be engaged in some of these. We can plan to have some events that facilitate and focus on reaching out, bringing in, building up and sending out, and that is good. But nothing replaces a culture of sharing, inviting, welcoming, encouraging and missions. If my life is going to be marked by these things, I need the Lord’s help to pursue them. Meaning, I need to pray about this, specifically.
- Lord, give me a heart for those around me who need to know about you and open my eyes to the gospel opportunities around. Give me so much love for others, that I point them to you with the hope of the gospel.
- Lord, help me to take advantage of opportunities to invite others to come and gather at church in order to hear the gospel and see the collective witness of your people loving you, worshiping you and loving one another.
- Lord, help me prioritize the church as you do and gather regularly with my brothers and sisters. Help me to look for people I do not know in order to welcome them, greet and embrace those I do know and pray regularly for my church family.
- Lord, help me be mindful of our missionaries. Thank-you for allowing us to be engaged with so many committed, competent and focused people who are displaying and sharing the gospel in difficult and needy countries. Use them for the fame of your name. Bless them with much gospel fruit. Use our church to support them with deep affection and generous funds that they know they are loved and provided for.
Lord, help us to keep our eye on what really matters and to be faithful and focused until the day of your return. Amen.
Grace and Peace,
Sunday’s Text: Psalm 3