As you have heard by now, we are turning our attention to our values as a church during Lent. And Lent, as we have heard before, is a season of the church in which we reflect with sober judgment on our faith. One area that I would invite you to reflect on is Outward Mission. Maybe you’re saying, “Of course you’d say that Pastor Andrew. You’re the Pastor of Congregational Outreach and Mission.” To which I’d respond, “Yep!” Now maybe you’re also thinking, “Didn’t we call you so that you so that we wouldn’t have to do it.” To which I’d respond, “Nope!”
One of Jesus’ last wishes on earth was to see us (all of us), “Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them everything I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20). But rather than see this as a command, consider it as an invitation, because we can also translate this “As you go…” Meaning that we do not have to travel halfway across the world to accomplish this task. In fact, the verb suggests that we can fulfill this Great Commission (as it is called) in our daily routine. That means we can be teaching and making disciples in the line at the grocery store, pumping gas, playing on a community kick ball league, and the list goes on and on and on. I would, however, suggest not trying to baptize people in the line at the grocery store, but I digress.
Maybe by now you’re thinking, I’m not sure I’m up for that.” Maybe you are an introvert that doesn’t find impromptu conversations appealing either. I respect that. However, if you have ever had a conversation where you have been excited to tell someone about your new puppy or a refreshing walk in the woods, a delicious looking dinner from a fancy restaurant, or a host of other things that I have seen you all posting on your Facebook page or Instagram accounts, I believe you have what it takes to talk about your faith. And what that is, is excitement. We tend to share with people (friends, family, even strangers) what we are excited about.
So, I think one thing we could be doing better as a church is to discover what excites us about our faith. And if we are not excited about our faith, then we have work to do. It is that work that I want us to be doing in the weeks and months ahead. As Covid restrictions and guidelines are paired down, there are people out there that have been isolated from community, family and a host of other things. We have an opportunity to welcome people back to church and sometimes all it takes is an invitation.
Of course, it can take more than an invitation at times which is why I’d like to invite you to Pastor Andrew’s Monday Missionary Minutes! I will be sharing more about what that is in due time but I think it will be a fun and exciting way to approach Outward Mission.