Updated: May 21, 2019
This past week, part of the redevelopment team spent a day and a half meeting together with another church and the INKY Synod Mission Renewal Table to discuss how renewal can come to our churches. As we stated in the Redevelopment Covenant , this journey of renewal is not just about getting more members and raising more money here at Risen Lord. Instead, “Redevelopment is a process of biblical and spiritual renewal for individual members of Risen Lord Lutheran Church as well as the congregation as a whole. Congregational redevelopment involves re-rooting in the good news of Jesus Christ and getting God’s dream for this ministry in focus.”
Again this weekend, we heard about how this process begins with deepening our spiritual roots and listening to where God is leading our congregation. As we seek to join God’s mission of renewing our world, we know that “Changed people change churches and changed churches change the world.” We are not simply trying to do the same things harder or better, but instead to see what new thing God is raising up among us and calling us to. We are wondering how God is sending us out in mission to the world, both as servants to different ministries but also as changed people who live the Good News of Jesus in their daily lives.
As you prepare to visit a different church on June 2, I encourage you to think about what it means to be a church focused around God’s mission. In Redevelopment, we often talk about a focus on maintenance or mission. To help see this, you can watch a short (two minute) video to help explain. You can also look back at a newsletter from September that discusses this paradigm of maintenance or mission.
When you visit, I’m sure the first thing you’ll notice is what you like and dislike. This important, so be sure to record that with your observations. What will be harder to spot, and maybe even more important, is to think about whether the church is focused more on maintenance or mission. Are they driven by what makes them happy and comfortable or what helps them share the Good News with others? Are they driven by having a pastor meet all their needs or are they seeking to meet the needs of others? How are believers being equipped to share the Gospel in their everyday lives?
Make sure you sign up in the gathering space for a church to visit on June 2, 2019 and then plan to join us that evening for worship, sharing and dinner. I am looking forward to hearing what we can learn with such a large team of researchers! (If you want to read some of the details again, you can check out last week’s newsletter .)
In the abiding hope of the Risen Lord,