Producing Eternally Changed Lives
In case you missed it, LCC has been presented with an opportunity to change locations within Longview and move into a building on West Marshall Avenue. I appreciated Bob’s blog last week and now I get the chance to share with you my perspective, which I believe to be complementary to Bob’s. I have found recently that there are certain types of change I struggle with, particularly the kind that involves conflict or ruffling people’s feathers. I tend to be a person who tries to get everyone on the same page and to support something with hopes they will eventually be happy about it. I had to deal with all of my internal questions and change resistant nature. I had to seek the Lord and ask Him to expose my desires for comfort along with fear of the unknown. In the past few weeks, I believe God has been showing me again a clearer view of His church as opposed to our version of church. In light of this journey, let me answer the three questions Bob addressed in his blog last week.
“What can this new opportunity present to your area of ministry?”
In the vision document presented to the congregation the elders state “LCC is a church of small groups. The church building is a front door where ministry happens as people walk through these doors to worship, find community, or serve others. The door size will enlarge enabling us to embrace, equip, and release people to accomplish the mission of producing eternally changed lives.” As we look at LCC, we should remember our goal is to be used by God to produce disciples of Jesus, not filling up a building. We can fill up a building with people and never produce a fully devoted follower of Jesus. It is through embracing (introducing to Jesus), equipping (teaching and discipling), and releasing (empowering to lead) people that God’s Kingdom will grow. This new opportunity simply is a larger door where this can happen through our worship services, connection to a small group, or a place to serve inside OR outside the church body.
“What are some of your concerns that you have to your area of ministry?”
I appreciated Bob’s reference to Colossians 3:1-2 reminding us to focus on the realities of heaven in light of the earthly things. In this process, we must deal with earthly things like contracts, city council, property values, and so on. My concern is we let those earthly concerns intimidate us or persuade us to turn away from an opportunity given to us.
Another concern is the urgent need we will have for new leaders and servant-hearted volunteers to rise to embrace and equip those the Lord brings our way. The “messy people” part of our mission statement will only continue to be a reality. We must have the courage to get involved in the lives of those who come through the doors of small groups, the main building, or through conversation in the community.
“How can the congregation pray for you about this decision?”
John Ortberg said, “God’s open doors are about opportunities, not guarantees”. Please pray we take these steps through the open door of opportunity with courage, dependence, unity, and Kingdom purpose. The only guarantee we should expect is that Christ Himself will be with us.
Why in the world would God present an opportunity to move us to a big building on West Marshall Avenue? I have no idea. Why in the world does God choose to do anything the way He does? Colossians 1:27 says, “For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for your Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Please pray we would be faithful to share the secret, the good news that Christ Jesus is Lord, and he is interested in producing eternally changed lives.
Looking forward to sharing the adventure together!