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We are all in this TOGETHER.

28May2013

Over the almost eleven years that I have served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church I have come to recognize more and more how it takes every person in the parish, doing his or her “job,” to make God’s ministry happen. Focusing on mobilizing the saints for ministry means that the length and depth and breadth of the Spirit’s work in the world is multiplied exponentially. Imagine it, if every person who is a part of the congregation gets out there and uses their particular gifts for the kingdom of God, we as a people of God, are making a collective difference in the world that the pastor alone cannot make. It was never meant to be “the pastor’s ministry”. . . it is the work of the people, the liturgy in the world, so to speak. This kind of grassroots, down to earth, communal thinking and being takes a complete shift away from our cultural norms which dictate autonomy and self-reliance and success that can be measured and reported.

So then, on to my main point which is that when a ministry happens, even if it is the brainchild of just one person, it takes many, many disciples to make it happen. One person has to be present to answer the phone while others are planning and executing the plans. (Answering the phone is a big deal because it rings ALL the time.) One person has to think through the details. Details are important, otherwise we waste precious time working through the kinks when we could be “doing.” Many people need to be praying for the soil to be fertile and open to the Spirit’s work as we venture onto paths unknown. Others have to pick up certain slack in the system to free up others to do what they do. We are all in this TOGETHER!

When a ministry happens, it is not just the visible people who are doing God’s work; mission is heavily dependent upon those behind the scenes doing what they do to make the path straight and smooth to accomplish the objective. Even if we aren’t particularly interested in one ministry (maybe it isn’t where our passion or gifts are) we still support that ministry in prayer and encouragement, recognizing that it is meeting a need in the community and it is Spirit-led. That is a vital part of all that we do: support and encouragement. 

Now, I know that you know all of this. It’s not rocket science. However, sometimes I think in the church that we fail to see the truth in all of this; the way that God works to use every single one of us working together, in tandem, side by side, to accomplish his holy will. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about the world that God loves and the people God loves. And we are so very blessed to get to be a part of it all every single day of our lives. 

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We can never do this thing called mission alone. But together with Christ, we can do amazing and wonderful things. Let us put aside any spirit of competition and embrace the collective ministry that Christ has entrusted to us for the sake of the good news. 

Have a very blessed day!

acl@CCD

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