The Body of Christ
“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.” – Romans 12:4-8
Living out our discipleship to Christ is no easy task. Determining where we as individuals fall in the above list of gifts and how to best use them to follow Christ’s call to follow Him is a challenge for all of us. As the first anniversary of my position here at Grace as Pastor approaches, I’ve begun to contemplate a little more intensely the question of “how exactly is it that God intends to use Grace Lutheran Church in God’s mission?” Just as each of us as individuals have gifts to contribute, congregations are individual members of the greater – worldwide Body of Christ. How do we at Grace, both as individuals and as a congregation fit into God’s mission?
In an effort to move towards an answer (this is a fluid question to which the answer will change as we and the world around us changes) the church council here at Grace has voted to pursue a relationship with a consultant who can guide us through a process designed to help us determine our congregational values and principles, to focus on planning and desired outcomes, goals and directions in which we can put our efforts towards determining and fulfilling our role in God’s mission for this world.
On June 19th, 2008 the council we be presented with a proposal for a plan to pursue this process. The process will involve the council appointing a diverse committee to represent the congregation (i.e. fair representation of male, female; older, younger; long-time members, newer members; etc.) that will work with myself and the consultant (and in ways with the entire congregation) to develop a plan for the congregation for the coming years. This process will require hard work and dedication but the outcomes hold high promise in ensuring that Grace moves forward in our discipleship both as individuals and as a congregation. I am excited by the prospects and the potential that this process can yield for Grace and I applaud the council on their decision to move in this direction.
I encourage you as individual members of Grace to take this opportunity to evaluate your own gifts and how you feel you can best offer them towards fulfilling God’s mission here at Grace. As a congregation, we need you and your gifts!
I thank God for the many blessings that have come from you as a congregation during my first year of ministry here at Grace. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to lead and join you in the process of determining our future as Grace Lutheran Church – disciples of Jesus! – and members of the one Body of Christ!