The past few weeks, I've been trying something new: running. Well, it's not entirely new, since I used to run cross country and track in Junior High and High School. But it's been a while!
Trying to run again has been challenging and uncomfortable. The day after a 2 1/2 mile this week, I was sore! And yet, I'm convinced that doing so will be for the best, helping me be increasingly healthier.
Last week, we began discussing our new mission statement:
Inviting all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in Gods family.
After two years of engaging a thorough Visioning Process with staff and Session, it has been a joy to share in conversations around campus this week about how we can live into this statement. But one of my favorite comments came over email:
I like this mission statement. It has a broad and inclusive perspective on mission and a Christ-centered perspective on ministry and discipleship. The idea of belonging to a "family" of God has a more positive, nurturing, and authentic sense to it.
I couldn't have said it better myself! - not least of which because that quote is from Peter Anders - son-in-law of Don Travis - who holds a PhD from Oxford and regularly contributes to Modern Reformation.
What Dr. Anders picks up on in our mission statement highlights the reasons for our current experiment of using the tear-off on our bulletin instead of the red friendship folders. While trying something new is difficult, I believe that this experiment helps us live into this mission. It provides an opportunity for "all people" - everyone whom God has gathered for worship - to not only register their attendance in one of our two gatherings, it also provides a place for them to connect in ministry and mission.
Last Sunday, the first opportunity to try out this new experiment, we received over 50 prayer requests, many of which our confidential Prayer Partners were unaware of. Now, each of those prayer requests are being lifted up before the God of heaven and earth!
What's more, we connected a number of new folks with our private email list, where we can keep them up to date with The Weekly and everything else happening in the life of our church family.
Last, but certainly not least, others offered to serve at our Wednesday evening Children's and Youth programs or requested baptism!
Each of these are ways that all people can be invited to grow into a Christ-centered life in God's family.
Of course, it's difficult to try new things. Just like it's challenging for me to get out there and run, it's challenging to experiment with a new means of communication. But I trust that doing so will be for our best, as we live into inviting all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in God's family!