29 Feb 2008

This past weekend was our 2nd annual Vision Retreat. Each year, our leadership and those wanting to get more involved with the ministry gather to envision the new year together. We started our retreat focusing on the ministry of Jesus through the aid of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. It asks:

Q. 23. What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?
A. Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet [a], of a priest [b], and of a king [c], both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.

We reflected on how God raised up in the OT prophets, priests, and kings to lead Israel. But the reality was that they were hardly perfect, but that was exactly the point. The purpose was that they were point to the coming of Jesus who embodied all three “offices” or functions perfectly. Where the prophets, priests, and kings failed, Jesus triumphed and lived fulfilled the offices perfectly. Specifically, Jesus represents God’s norm and authority (prophet), his presence (priest), and his rule over us (king).

To have an accurate view of Jesus, one must these perspectives in mind and to realize that Jesus perfectly embodies all three. Although we may not have understood all three simultaneously, we at some point must grapple with each and recognize Jesus in all his fullness. We certainly cannot divorce one from the other. In other words, we can’t just accept his priestly ministry but refuse his prophetic or kingly ministry. They are all meant to be held together.

What does this have to do with leading others? Absolutely everything! We first need to know how Jesus ministers to us before we can minister to others. Just as Christ our redeemer came as THE prophet, priest, and king, we too are commissioned by Jesus to continue his ministry through us. Although none of us fully embody all three functions like Jesus, we do possess some in part. Where we are lacking, others complement. That is why we’re called the “body of Christ”.

The continual challenge for any ministry to understand it’s mission and vision, to understand the situation we face and the needs around us, and how we can be a participants in God’s mission. We must keep all aspects together, not separately. When we explore areas of giftedness, we need to consider the vision of the church and its needs as well, not just in personal interest. Ideally we would like to have everyone serve in areas of strength, giftedness, and interest, but everyone must be open and willing to do things that are needed, even if mundane to you. As Christ came as a servant to us, we must also be willing to sacrifice ourselves and preferences for the sake of the vision and for the people we will serve.

After evaluating our ministry, the deacon board came to the realization that although we may have established the vision and mission statements last year and may have communicated on a semi regular basis, there was something very lacking. We didn’t practically spell out how people can be involved with the vision. We hope that in the coming months, we can better communicate not only our vision, but also how each of you can practically get involved.

Emphasis for 2008

Community: reorganize structurally and philosophically in order to promote deeper fellowship, accountability, and prayer among newcomers and existing members.
Mission: to empower home groups towards personal evangelism, mission and service
Equipping: raise up new leaders through intentional coaching, seminars, and conferences.

Greatest Needs
formal welcoming ministry
home group leaders
discussion leaders (Simply Christianity)
teachers – rotation system – (youth and children)
organizers and administrators – (VBS, Simply Christianity)

Right now, we are asking for people to enter into a time of discernment and prayer. In the coming weeks, the deacon board will attempt to set up ministries and structures that will mobilize everyone towards participation and service. Please consider how you might contribute to the vision to “point people to Jesus”.

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