Here is some great common sense from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together.
A vital part of our church mission includes a life of discipleship and service enjoyed together. When we grow as Christ’s disciples, we exercise the gifts He’s given us, and Christian ministry is produced. In that way, every one of us has a place of ministry that God is calling us to embrace.
I spoke with Rick Beech, one of the directors at Habitat for Humanity recently, and he mentioned a new project they have going in Apex for 2013. It sounded like a great opportunity for our church. We would love to partner with them for this project, but we will need someone to act as a facilitator.
Over the last couple of weeks we've been looking at SGC's vision, answering the question, What is SGC to be about? I hope the answer to that question has been made a bit clearer through these blog posts. But there is one last piece of the puzzle to consider.
Let's think about what it means that we serve the needy in our communities, helping God's love to be experienced and not merely heard, encountered and not merely preached.
Everything the Bible records about Jesus—his birth, actions, teachings, miracles, cross, resurrection, etc.—is written with God's Holy Spirit highlighter that says, “Catch this! It is important!” The words about Jesus are not more inspired than the rest of Scripture, but there is a unique importance to them that has appropriately made them central to the church's reading and teaching for two thousand years.
Proverbs 29:18 says that “where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” That word “unrestrained” is also used in Exodus 32:25 where at the scene of the golden calf, “Moses saw that the people were out of control.” When we lack direction and clarity about vision we may not necessarily build golden calves, but we will fail to move forward together….A church needs vision because people need vision.
If you're going to get a group of people to work together on something you have to be clear about what it is you're trying to do. To get two dozen skilled workers together to build a house, you need clear blueprints and a clear schedule to make sure that the right house gets built. Otherwise you might get a beautiful kitchen in the middle of an empty lot! Building a church is no different. There are a lot of different “blueprints” a church could choose to be about. What are we about at SGC?
In this post we want to look at two dimensions of our vision statement, being bible-saturated and spirit-empowered. The Bible gives us the plans (like The Dangerous Book for Boys) and the Holy Spirit gives us the power (like the trial-and-error of my building project). Without these our efforts at building God's church will be wayward, reckless, and probably just wrong.
Our last post introduced the idea of a clarifying vision for SGC. We looked at the question, “What does God want SGC to be about?” Some churches would answer this question by looking at the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20). Some would say it is about “knowing Jesus and making him known.” Others think in terms of “upward” (worship), “outward” (service and evangelism), and “inward” (personal growth). All of these are trying in some way to summarize the New Testament vision for the church and their own sense of that vision.