Sign Up for Gathering 2 Serve!
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
On Saturday, August 7 we will once again participate in our church-wide mission called, Gathering 2 Serve. For those of you who are new to our congregation, or have never participated before, this event is designed so that we may be servants of Jesus Christ in our local community. In doing so, we share the good news of Christ’s love and grace as we become servants to others. Too often, the Christian Church focuses its attention on itself, forgetting Christ’s call to service. Worship, bible study, and fellowship are all great things that help us grow inwardly, but as Christians we are also called to serve outwardly. Leslie Newbigin, the great missionary and theologian says it this way in his book, The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society:
“If the gospel is to challenge the public life of our society… It will only be by movements that begin with the local congregation in which the reality of the new creation is present, known and experienced, and from which men and women will go into every sector of public life to claim it for Christ, to unmask the illusions which have remained hidden and to expose all areas of public life to the illumination of the gospel. But that will only happen as and when local congregations renounce an introverted concern for their own life, and recognize that they exist for the sake of those who are not members, as sign, instrument, and foretaste of God’s redeeming grace for the whole life of society.” (pgs. 232-233)
Newbigin points out that the church must take the gospel beyond itself; into the society, the neighborhood in which it is located. The gospel will not challenge society if it is left in the confines of the church’s worship and education. Unfortunately, many churches are content with existing as a group of members with little focus on mission/evangelism and sharing the good news. Mission budgets become the celebrated way in which a church considers itself missional, without any real focus on relationships. The danger lies in the delusion of believing that the church fulfills its missional task by paying for someone else to handle it.
The church must renounce its concern for itself and realize that God has called the church to be missionary, sharing and being in relationship with those beyond its membership. Funding food for the hungry is a great thing, but it cannot be a substitute for the true Bread from Heaven. We cannot farm out our responsibility so that we do not have to get our hands dirty, or so that we don’t have to be actively involved with anyone we are trying to reach for Christ. We must own and accept Christ’s call to be missionaries in our vocations, in our daily interactions, and intentionally as a church who seeks to form relationships within our communities that we might model and share the gospel. Gathering 2 Serve is one way in which we carry out this faithful task.
So, I invite you to live out you’re calling to do as Jesus has done for you by participating with us. It’s one Saturday of your time, but it’s also a great way to offer your time to the Lord. You don’t have to have any specific skills to participate; just an open heart to share the love and grace of Jesus Christ. You will find more specific information below that details our work together and how you can be a part. Feel free to sign up online or at church this Sunday in the Gathering Space. I look forward to serving alongside of you!
Grace and Peace,