As I write, I am just back from our Ash Wednesday service as we began our preparations for Easter.
This Lent at Christ Church, I’d like to do something a little different and prepare not only for Easter, but for Pentecost also. Pentecost is an important date in the life of the church as we remind ourselves of the coming of the Holy Spirit to equip the church for mission.
Our current sermon series on mission, which began in January and concludes at Pentecost, looks at the four building blocks or foundational principles of a church that takes mission seriously: discipleship (living out our faith); evangelism (reaching out with our faith), fellowship (hanging out with the faithful) and the spiritual gifts that equip us to do it.
Because it is such a practical vision of a church where every member can advance the mission of Jesus Christ to reach all the nations with the gospel, our sermon series goes hand in hand with a new brochure that will help each of us to discern how God might specifically be calling us.
Sometimes this will involve a prominent job in church that takes us way outside of our comfort zone, sometimes it will be a quiet job in our own homes or offices – but that doesn’t matter – because I believe that Christians grow the most, and are most joyous and most effective for the kingdom, when they serve in the way that God has specifically called them.
I also believe that the church really takes off when the clergy equips believers to become disciples and then gets out of the way so that disciples can become disciple-makers.
To this end, I have just enjoyed a great weekend with the vestry on retreat discerning their spiritual gifts and working with them so that they can now lead others through this process. It was a wonderful weekend and I am jealous for every one of us to get in on this time of spiritual growth, if we want to.
In the coming weeks and months, you’ll be hearing more about this.
Yours in Christ,