This week I am once again humbled by your generosity and investment in our future. The image of each of you coming forward making visible a commitment to support the call of your body to to be a grace agent in our city brings me joy, pride, and inspiration.
As we continue to receive commitments towards 2015 I want to share with you some of what I see taking shape for our ministry together in this next year.
There are three phrases that I believe describe the blue print for our ministry as a missionary people in 2015: seeking justice, restoring lives, & transforming the city.
“Seeking Justice:” Justice is not a political code word or a goal that’s exclusive of personal holiness. It is our commitment to engage our city from the perspective of God’s call to “shalom/peace,” our call to the repentance and conversion of all things, people and systems, to God’s loving intention. Our commitment to being an open and diverse community, our passion for joy-filled sensory worship, and our willingness to speak boldly about the power of Christ to seek and make whole all that is counter to God’s call to love speaks to our vision of being justice seekers in all that we do.
“Restoring Lives:” Our conviction that salvation begins with the call of God’s Spirit to acknowledge our brokenness and the brokenness of the world. That we have failed God and neighbor by things that we have done and, as the prayer of confession says, by “things that we have left undone.” Recognizing our need for grace we open the doors of our hearts, souls, and minds, to a renewed spirit, a whole existence, a restored life! Our ministry in 2015 will place growing emphasis in the the many ways that we support our growth in grace (the restoration of our life). We want all people to engage in communities of grace, small groups of believers who gather weekly to care for one another in love. Small groups, prayers groups, and recovery groups, are some of the ways that this takes place and we look forward to having more people growing in grace through these groups.
“Transforming the City:” The purpose of seeking justice (Christ’s kingdom as the ultimate destination) and restoring lives (grace nurturing community) is the rehearsing (the practicing) of God’s kingdom in the place that we have been planted. For 22 years we have been about this work through the many missional commitments (Common Ground, New Room, etc.), through establishing a presence where people are living and seeking, and through our worship life. We’ll continue our missional commitments but also hope to become a more robust community partner by being part of the community conversation seeking to make Shreveport/Bossier a better community and to advocate for the least, the last, and the lost.
Hear what God says!
In the last days,
I will offer My Spirit to humanity as a libation.
Your children will boldly speak the word of the Lord.
Young warriors will see visions,
and your elders will dream dreams.
Acts 2:17 (The Voice Bible)
Join us as we continue dreaming dreams and seeing visions. Invest in God’s future for us here, you can pledge online or print your pledge card and mail it to the church office. See you this weekend!