I am currently reading a church mission initiative called “Cultivated Ministry: Theology, Accountability, Learning & Storytelling” that challenges churches to shift their focus from pure numbers (membership and budget) to impact in the community (bearing fruit for the kingdom of God). This model of ministry is “a reorientation to the missional goal of kingdom growth. It is noteworthy that Jesus only mentions “church” twice in the New Testament. Both instances are oblique references in the Gospel of Matthew (16:18 & 18:17) and may in fact be editorial additions. By contrast, throughout his ministry Jesus was primarily concerned with the emergence of God’s kingdom. Consider, for example, the first words attributed to Jesus in the first of our gospels to be written down: ‘Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust the good news!’ (Mark 1:15) Jesus’ ministry was urgent. Jesus’ ministry was rooted in the here and now. Jesus’ ministry was about the imminent manifestation of God’s kingdom. Jesus’ ministry was about change and transformation. Jesus’ ministry was — and is — good news for a world all too familiar with bad news.”
We are beginning a new season of ministry within the Presbyterian Church at Woodbury, and are beginning to consider how we live out the missional goals of kingdom growth. At the March 29th Congregational Meeting, we approved a Vision Committee to prayerfully consider how we might bear fruit for Christ: locally, nationally and internationally. We are looking for people to serve on the Vision Committee during the Fall. Please consider if God is calling you to discern with other brothers and sister about our ministry and if we are being called to do a new thing as a congregation. If you are interested in serving, please let me know. The Vision Committee will meet on the following dates:
September 16, 2018: Pray Meeting
October 21, 2018 : What is God Calling Us To Do?
November 18, 2018: Relevant or Not?
December 16, 2018: Plans for Kingdom Building
January 27, 2019: Report to the Congregation
Jesus understood God’s kingdom in terms of fruitfulness. I hope that you will prayerfully consider helping us discern how we might use our gifts of time, talent and treasure to be part of God’s