“God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do.”
(Ephesians 4:15, The Message)
Saying ‘goodbye’ is never easy. Especially if that person was a hard worker and a close ministry partner, it’s one of the more painful experiences we face as a church. Several weeks ago, we said ‘goodbye’ to our friends, Becki and Lamar Wagnon, who are starting a new chapter of life in Montana. Like them, our congregation is taking some new steps in the areas of our music ministry, children’s ministry, and youth ministry. Again, changes are never easy to make, but these changes will help us grow in our ability to make disciples of Jesus Christ among our current and future generations. I ask for your patience, your prayers, and support in this time of transition. I also ask for your encouragement and love for our new ministry leaders.
The fall is a great time to remind ourselves that we are lifelong students. Regardless of our age, we can all take new steps in our development and development. Rev. Scott Hughes writes this about learning – “Learning occurs when self-reflection or a disruptive event causes us to reassess our assumptions and presuppositions so that they are modified, strengthened or changed.” Well-known poet, Robert Bly, writes how many adults stop growing and (thus) maturing. Rather than focusing on new goals for the future, they remain focused on the past. They are stuck in their ways and are unwilling to change.
As we enter this fall, I encourage everyone in our congregation to take some new steps forward. Let’s choose to grow (and change) in positive, faithful ways. Join a bible study. Lead a small group. Form new friendships. Do something that will challenge and stretch you – mentally, spiritually, relationally even physically.
As you grow, our church will grow. As you mature, we will mature and experience new growth. This is how God created us to live. This is part of the beauty and rhythm of life. This is also part of the legacy we can leave behind for our next generation, who sees and learns from our example.
On Rally Sunday, we begin a new ministry year. Sunday School will resume classes. The choir will resume singing. As we welcome younger generations, let’s exude a spirit of hospitality and welcome (as we already do.) Let’s also exude a spirit of faithfulness and commitment to growth – an openness to following the leadings of the Holy Spirit, wherever and however the Spirit may lead.
I’m excited to grow with you,
Pastor Sarah Hong
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