God always calls the church to do God’s mission. In the season of Lent, the first Sunday of which is March 1, we’ll focus on the basic building blocks of the mission given the church. To do this mission, the Church must grow in its understanding of God’s mission in the World. We must think more about what the church is called by God to be. We must grow in our commitment to be God’s people in the world. For five weeks we’ll be digging deeper into these questions to help us articulate the mission God gives us.
The language I’ve chosen above is carefully worded. You’ll note that whenever speaking of the source of mission I’ve used language that does not claim the mission as something we own or create. Mission in the Church, is something that comes from outside of us. Mission is not something that we determine or set up on our own. Rather, it is something we step into as a response of a calling given.
Mission is God’s doing. God leads God’s people. God calls the Church. God forms the community of faith. God gives us mission and calls us to follow. The question of mission, then, becomes not whether or not this church has a mission, but whether God’s mission has a Church in which it can flourish and take root.
The theme for the weeks ahead is “What’s God Trying to Do Among Us?” We pose this question as a five week exploration of God’s intent in the world. It is put before us with the hopes that the more we understand God’s hopes for the world (God’s dreams) the more we will be able to understand what we are to do. The more we come to see God’s involvement in the world around us, the more we will discover how God calls us to be.
Each week a different aspect of this theme will be explored. First, we’ll begin by exploring the work of God. Then we’ll explore the work of Jesus. Next will come a time to consider the work of the Church. Then we’ll spend two weeks considering how God calls us as individuals to be active in God’s work.
For us to end thirty four years of decline and to begin a new era of growth, we have to start with a consideration of the basic building blocks of mission. The more we engage God’s mission, the better able we will be to turn from decline to growth. For this reason, I hope all of you will be involved in our Lenten series. Each week we’ll explore the theme on Sunday morning. On Wednesdays we’ll focus on another aspect of the same topic introduced on Sunday mornings.
As always, your prayers for this congregation are important. As we commit ourselves to turning from decline to growth, your prayers are even more critical. It will take determination and hard work to discern the work ahead of us. Prayer prepares us for God’s work. In your prayers, pray that God will give us both the desire and the courage to do the work needed to transform our ministry.