On Sunday the Deacons and Elders will gather for a joint meeting, where we will ask questions about who we are, who we want to be, and how we can get there together.
I’ve been preparing for our time over the last several weeks and I thought I would share a few of the ideas and questions that I’ve been wrestling with.
First, we are God’s church. This is not my church, and this is not your church. We are God’s church. That doesn’t mean we don’t take ownership or responsibility for our church, but it is a promise that God will take care of God’s church. It’s not up to me, or us, to save the church, that’s God’s work. And so, the question becomes, how do we participate in what God is already doing in and among us?
Second, I believe that God has given us everything we need to be God’s church. It’s easy to join the comparison game, focusing on what other churches have that we don’t have, and forget that God has given us what we need to be First Presbyterian Church of Lewistown. And so, the question becomes what are we doing with the resources God has given to us?
Third, in recent years we’ve been hearing how the church is in decline. And it is true, the numbers don’t lie. Nationally, the number of people who belong to a church is decreasing. We feel it even as a local church. We have fewer members today, then we did in years past. And it is tempting for us to start panicking about that reality, thinking that it is up to us to reverse those trends. But rather than thinking about how we can gain 100 new members, what if we think about how we gain 1 new member. And so, the question becomes who is one person we can invite to become part of our family because we believe we have something to offer that one person?
These are big conversations. And our Deacons and Elders will not have all the answers at the end of our time together on Sunday. But I am hopeful that we will begin to see where G
od might be leading us in the next year, in the next three years, and even in the next five years.
These conversations aren’t reserved for just a few, it’s an invitation for all of us.
Last week, I asked the question, what are the three words you would use to describe First Presbyterian Church when we are at our best?
The question this week is, what is “the thing” that makes us First Presbyterian Church of
Lewistown? To put that another way, what sets us apart from other churches or gives us our unique identity?
To answer one or both questions, hit reply to this email, send me a text, or write your answer down and hand it to me on Sunday morning.
I also invite each of you to be in prayer for our leaders as we gather, discern, and dream. I look forward to sharing more with you about the fruit of our conversations and discernment.
Grace and peace,