Looking Ahead of Us
With July 4th behind us and the State Fair on the horizon, we find ourselves in that beloved window of Minnesota’s summer called August.
Which is a good time for reset.
That was the theme of our sermon series a year ago. If you don’t remember, it was four sermons unpacking some gospel logic you can base your life on
The more we are assured of God’s love and of how much we don’t deserve it, then the more we are humbled and filled with joy, then the more we are poured out in love for others, which all amounts to magnifying the glory of God.
This sentence is still written on the whiteboard at home, and it’s one that I constantly come back to again and again, especially when I’m feeling low. It’s a splash of cold water to a groggy heart, at least in my experience.
And a splash of cold water is what I need in August, if your pastor can be straight with you.
Looking ahead of us into this next season, our church is headed for its own kind of corporate reset. With the happy commissioning of Redeemer Church on August 25, and the relocating and transferring of other current members, we’re planning to remove over seventy people from our membership roster in October. In God’s kindness, we’ll also be adding new members, but the movement of people will mark the largest membership transition in our little five-year history. We will basically have, for all intents and purposes, a different church come this fall. And a better church.
I say that by faith. This is where the cold water helps.
We’re sending out some of our top leaders and most servant-hearted members. We’re going feel your/their absence, and yet, I know this is how it goes for a church whose vision is to plant churches: You gain by losing.
That is the subversive economy of the kingdom of God. Fruitfulness comes by dying (see John 12:24).
And to be honest, it feels a little bit crazy, but I think that’s how it’s supposed to feel. It only makes sense if Jesus is real.
* * *
I’ve told y’all before that sometimes during worship I’ll look up at the stained glass window centered behind the sanctuary. It’s the one with the depiction of Jesus resurrected, holding the symbol of authority, with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega to his left and right, respectively.
I look at that depiction of his face, which reminds me that he has a face, and that on his face is a facial expression, and that in the moment of worship — or even right now as you’re reading this — he sees us and knows us and loves us.
I really just want to please him (see 2 Corinthians 5:9). And I believe that our church, imperfect as she is, does. And I believe that he has yet more grace for us, even in this next season. I believe that he will make us more centered on him, more grounded in his word, more committed to one another, more victorious over sin, more generous with our resources, more winsome with our witness.
I believe Jesus is making us a better church.
Would you pray and hope and work towards that with me?