Sunday, May 02, 2010
Sunday nights are for thinking
We've had two back to back full weekends at New Hope. Last weekend it was Saturday in the Park. This weekend was the rain-cancelled Relay for Life and the Worship Workshop. It's been busy, busy, busy. New Hope's people have stepped out to serve and up to learn more about how to worship Jesus.
Saturday in the Park, though shortened by rain, was still one of the most fun events I have ever been a part of, with the most impact. We're still seeing results from it in both the response from people and the continuing purchase of items that we sell with 100% of the proceeds going to organizations that are doing something about changing the lives of those in need around the world. Hunger, clean water, human trafficking, orphan care - these are areas that we at New Hope cannot possibly fix. But we can DO SOMETHING! and we are.
As much as doing something is part of who we are though, being someone who lives with the heart and mind of Christ has to balance that out. It's not faith or works - it's faith AND works.
So I'm sitting here tonight praying and reflecting on what we have done and will do that builds faith in individual members and that builds up the congregation's faith. We took a step in that direction with the worship workshop. Melanie Winter brought a deep love of Jesus and a skill set that is at the level that we want to get to as a worship team. She challenged us and prodded us to look at what we were doing, and what we could do to improve. It meant change. We changed a few things and more are to come. But I really believe we improved in worship today and will make more strides as time goes by. Thanks Melanie!
There's more to do though.
We have to build on the love that motivates us to do. We have to grow in our ability to disciple kids, youth, and adults of all ages. Our Kidmo children's program and the coming children's church time has really upped our impact in that area. I dropped in there this morning and the room was full. Few sights warm a pastor's heart more than seeing dedicated and caring teachers pouring out their love through discipleship. Since we began Kidmo, we have people looking for ways to get in there.How cool is that? Turns the old "nominating committee" on its head when people rush toward working in what typically can be tough to fill.
As a result, we may be looking at other changes in our discipleship strategy. How can we best help young minds and hearts be opened to the call of Christ to come and follow? Who are the right people to gather into groups and who would be the best at pointing them into the Word and toward faith in Jesus? When should they meet and where? What materials should be used?
Changes. Changes. Changes.
Why? We have an awesome group of people at New Hope who are DOING SOMETHING about the things that break the heart of God. Once you are part of the New Hope family you step into an embrace of love as tight as any I have ever known. We LOVE being together. But we have to grow deeper - reach further. Love for Jesus doesn't reach a point and stay there - if it's real, it grows all throughout the life of the believer.
5 So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, 6 alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, 7 warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. 8 With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (MSG)
"Building on what you've been give..." is exactly what we need to do. Seeing believers grow from initial curiosity about Jesus, to love for Jesus, and through to maturity is what we need to make sure we are constantly seeing. We are seeing it now, but we can do better.
So pray with me. Pray that the God Who began His work in us would draw us deeper to Him.