During a sermon recently, I joked that I’m avoiding the word “change” and instead will use the word “adjustment” or “realignment.” In evaluating all we do with the question, “How will this help us be and make hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus?”—we come up against a mission that affects our strategy in making this a reality. In a fundamental effort to obey the Great Commission of Jesus, we may come up against longstanding patterns in our lives and in ARBC that do not move Jesus’ mission forward. So what do we do?
As I mentioned at the leaders retreat and again at the February Members Meeting, if our only goal is to maintain a religious institution for our sake rather than move forward a mission for the sake of the gospel, then the institution should not exist. Each worship service, each small group, each conversation must be laced with encouraging reminders of the beauty of Christ’s salvation in our hearts and that the Spirit is in us, never to leave us alone.
Thus, we celebrated the love of God at a worship concert Friday, February 15th. Reminders! We will have a Week of Prayer for North American Missions and collect for our Annie Armstrong Easter Offering with an ambitious goal of $10,000, every penny of which will go to North American missions and missionaries who are called to make hopeful, joyful disciples of those who do not know Jesus. Reminders! We will have another First Sunday on March 3 where we will see what exactly true faith is all about by using three chairs. Reminders!
This is critical, especially when we begin having conversations regarding matters such as properties and pews. That is, when the ad hoc team (voted in last members meeting) is populated and begin to explore and bring conclusions to the church regarding the future two homes that we own on Penrose Court; and the conversations which will ensue regarding the Auditorium (pews or chairs, carpet, and such), we will come as disciples of Jesus, evaluating how this will help us not merely maintain an institution but be and make hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus.
The important part of it all, ultimately, are the relationships we develop as disciples of Jesus. We prayerfully ask God to empower us as a church to reach 50 for Jesus this year. Again, it’s not praying God will save 50 (which we pray He will) but for a readiness and a willingness to say, “I want to be used by you, dear Jesus, to share the gospel wherever, whenever, to whomever.” It’s a willingness to learn how to share, it’s a desire to strengthen each other in the task, and it’s an insatiable appetite that develops with the Word of God and prayer.
As I close, have you seen the GLOBE? Thanks so much to Kathy Peterson and the Penrose Proceeds Allocation Team for populating and providing the funds, respectively. The purpose of that room is a place for relationships to develop as we strengthen each other in Christ and for Christ. Another purpose will be a place for me to talk with guests and those who have inquiries about ARBC or the message they just heard.
It’s not just about programs for us—it’s about personal relationships with others that flow from a personal relationship with Christ.
Be. Make. Multiply. Send. A biblical strategy fueled by the Great Commission. Are you in?
All in this together,
[This is from the March 2019 newsletter of our church.]