Excerpted from Crossroads Curriculum: Handout 3-3
After he appeared to them that first evening he prayed with them, “Peace be with you.” Then Jesus said this to the disciples “As God has sent me, so I send you.” Beloved, likewise, we are sent into the world to live a different way of life – in our households, with our co-workers and neighbors, in stores and restaurants and wherever we find ourselves. Our voice is the voice of Jesus for a community that needs God’s liberating, reconciling words of love and grace. Our work is being Jesus’ hands, heart, and mind in a way that continues Jesus’ work of healing the sick and releasing the captives in our day. We are called and gifted by God to serve the neighbors around us as we go about your daily life and work. This is our mission.
One has been said that, “It is not the church of God that has a mission in the world, but the God of mission who has a church in the world. . .God is on the move and the church is always catching up with God. We join God’s mission.” At the heart of this is the principle that we must be active followers of Jesus—to practice Jesus’ Way in everyday life. So, congregational ministry is about forming people so that they follow this call. It is about teaching people spiritual disciplines so that their daily lives are matched to God’s intentions. It is about empowering people to network and grow in ways that enliven their work for God’s purposes.
As well, we are to “go into the world and make disciples of all people.” This work of going out—into our culture, into our city—is an active practice of sharing and showing people that the ways of God are very different from the ways of the world. It is the refusal to participate in the greed and oppression and destruction that the world seems to value. Instead, we “clothe ourselves” with the values of the gospel (see Colossians 3: 12-17). We are to practice reconciliation, mercy, forgiveness, peace, justice and the like so that others may see and “clothe themselves” with a new way of living in the world. We do this so others may understand the power and hopefulness of Jesus’ Way of life. And we do this so others may become disciples—followers—of Jesus’ convictions and lifestyle.
Click here for a draft list of the shared values to which we believe we have been called and will discuss during worship this Sunday.
I pray that this reflection will serve as a foundation for our discernment as we proceed towards the development of a vision for our future.
With blessing and prayer,
Rev. Wendy Miller Olapadefirstname.lastname@example.org