“[God] destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to his will, the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:5
Howard Hendricks, the great Baptist church leader, and Promise Keepers speaker, once compared the church to a football game. A stadium full of people who need exercise watching 22 grown tired men beating each other up and then retiring to their cars, water coolers, and armchairs to argue about how they would have done things differently. The point is this: the church is not meant to be an institution made up solely of paid staff, and key volunteers, doing hard and good work while the rest of the church watches and criticizes. By virtue of our baptisms into Jesus Christ, we are all called to get in the game!
In baptism, each of us is adopted into God’s family. This makes all of us siblings. In Christ we are family. And, just like families, we have our disagreements and our conflicts… however, families also are called to be able to bear with one another through joys AND struggles.
We seek to model that life in our life together at Good Shepherd. Beginning this week we will be training and launching our MAP waypoint teams. Beginning with our leadership structure, communication and vision we will begin praying, talking and working towards a church that seeks to engage all people regardless of what they look like, who they love, how much money they have, who they vote for, in the hard but life-fulfilling work of doing God’s will in the world.
We can do this because God has already done all of this for each of us already. God’s eyes do not see the world in divided ways like ours so often do. Beginning at church, then with our families, and then with the world, we can practice a new way of living together, as God’s family.
May we be a church that equips each of our members to be “in the game”.
Pastor Chris Enstad
This post is part one of a six-part series titled “No Longer Strangers: Living as a Community of Faith”