Over the past few weeks, the leaders’ blog has concentrated on where we feel God is taking us as a church and the move into more intentionally living a life of UP, IN and OUT. At St. John we are really wanting to have UP-IN-OUT expressed in each and every area of the church, from communities, to ministry teams, and throughout our services and events. In this blog I want to concentrate on how we can engage in OUT on a personal level, in communities, and on a larger scale as St. John.
Last month I challenged those who participated in Discipleship4All to audit their lives, their family, and the wider community of St. John on UP-IN-OUT, grading each area out of 10. Although the scores varied, the pattern was very much the same. OUT was perceived to be our weakest area both individually and collectively. So, what can we do to try and rectify this, to bring our OUTward living to higher level?
We often ask the questions “What is God saying?” and “How am I going to respond?” Well, I believe that God is offering us invitation and challenge to engage in OUT more intentionally. Our next step is to look at how we respond to this.
First, we need to remember that Jesus didn’t send his disciple’s out alone. Today, especially with COVID 19, we can often feel alone, and as though we cannot go OUT. However, social distancing, stay at home, and other precautions do not have to make us feel isolated – we are in this together!
Second, as the body of Christ, we are made up of many parts. Those of us that cannot leave the house due to quarantine or illness can still be part of the mission of God. Prayer is vital. Encouraging those who are engaging with the community is needed. Again, we are in this together!
That all having been said, I want to invite you all to be preparing the way, through prayer, for our launching a missional calendar next week. Mush like we used the 40Acts calendar through Lent, this season the focus will be on weekly Out focused activities. We will all be on mission together and serving our communities. In the same way that the 72 were sent out by Jesus to different areas, we can rest in the knowledge and truth that our church family is engaging likewise to advance the kingdom. God is with us and that we are not alone.