Saturday, August 20, 2011

Toward a "Stated Vision"

The application for congregation membership in the Alliance of Renewal Churches asks for the "stated vision" of our church, Crossroads Community Church of Cokato.  I'm glad for the push to get clear on what Crossroads is about.  No church can be all things to all people.  So how can God's purpose for our church be put into words?

We start with what God has already done.  We look for patterns in the history that led up to Crossroads' beginning.  We examine our story.  What has God been teaching us?  What scriptures could be sort of "themes" for this history?  What words summarize our journey with the Lord?  Who are the partners, locally and beyond, who the Lord has brought to us for these days?  We'll take a look at the "footprints in the sand" to see where they are leading.

How would you answer these questions personally?  What has God been teaching you as an individual?  What scriptures are themes for your personal story?  What words would summarize what God has been doing in your life over the past few years?  Who are your partners?  Who else's footprints have been beside your own?  Who has God been carrying by your side?

Please send me your own answers to those questions.  I will look forward to talking about these with your personally in the days and weeks to come... leading up to our All Church Retreat on September 30 - October 1.  God will lead us as we discern the purposes God has put in each of us, in each of our hearts and minds and souls. 

I will pray for you and ask God to inspire you as you look for his footprints in the sand of your life.  It's not for no reason God has brought us together to this point.  He has brought us here to lead us forward, to be a blessing to our families, to our communities, and to the world. 

So, first, we will look back.  Then, we then boldly look ahead in the same general direction.  If God has brought us thus far, forming among us certain characteristics and strengths and weaknesses, where do we guess that God is leading us?  God will bring good out of this journey when we love him and are called according to his purpose!

The Lord will lead us in stating a vision, writing down the purpose for our church's existence.  The Lord will lead us to this.  He wants us to be a blessing, and getting clarity will be helpful.  That way, even when we think we are strong, our footprints will be moving along at least in a similar direction to the way the Lord carries us when we cannot carry ourselves.

I will pray and do my best to lead us toward getting this "stated vision" written down in God's time.
"I will stand at my watch-post... I will keep watch to see what the Lord will say to me...

"Write the vision; make it plain... so that a runner may read it.  For there is still a vision for the appointed times... it does not lie.  If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will not delay... the righteous live by their faith."  (from Habakkuk 2:1-4)
Let's see what we will do together.  God is moving us toward a future that belongs to Him.

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