Vision for the Season

hike1I want to take a few moments to paint a picture of our vision for the season. In a phrase it is the “Expansion of Ministry.” We’re still called to the rhythms God has called us to in making disciples, of Hospitality, Discipleship, and Blessing.  These come from the model of discipleship making of Jesus in Luke.  He called His disciples, then built into them, and then sent them out – calling, building, sending.  We have reframed this model.  We call by our rhythm of Hospitality.  We build into each other and others in our rhythm of Discipleship.  And, we are sent out in our rhythm of Blessing.  As a young church, I believe we have done well in this calling.  We are welcoming; we are growing together in Jesus; and, we have blessed many folks in some real ways.

Knowing this is our calling, I have been praying about how God will have us live this vision out this season.  Simply put, this season we’re called to expand our ministry.  So I want you to imagine with me what this could look like.

I envision Jesus using our rhythm of Hospitality by continuing our welcoming spirit in worship and parties.  But, I also see Jesus expanding our ministry of Hospitality. I see the women’s book club growing.  I see the inclusion of more people in our new Pub Theology groups, where we hang out and discuss theological matters. And I see us, outside Sundays, having intentional meals together.  This is a borrowed idea we’re calling “6 at 6.”  It’s a picture of various meals of about 6 people, eating perhaps at 6pm.  It’s a one-time meal hosted by you in your home for the purpose of getting to know others in church and outside of church.  Can you envision Jesus growing our rhythm of Hospitality?

I also see Jesus using our rhythm of Discipleship to build into us and others. I see Him building on and expanding our worship gatherings, as make Him more of the main thing.  In the fall we’re going to study Paul’s 2nd Missionary Journey in Acts, and in December, we’ll study the women in Jesus’ genealogy, and how they relate to the themes of Advent.  I also see Jesus developing existing small groups, and I see Him also growing in us through new small groups focused on prayer and Bible study.  In this vein, Cheryl is hosting a women’s small group, with a focus that will be determined by the group.  Also, I am going to host a 6-8 week prayer and Bible study on the book of Galatians.  This will be on Mondays starting in a couple weeks.  It will be a very simple evening where we’ll start with prayer, then read a passage and discuss it, while eating dessert, and then I’ll kick out after 2 hours. Can you envision how God will grow us through our rhythm of Discipleship?

mount bakerI also see Jesus using our rhythm of Blessing to bless us while we bless others.  I see Him building upon our momentum to make His presence known in our neighborhoods.  I see Him creating new relationships as we partner with neighbors at our Blessing events scheduled for the fall: “The Day of Plenty” produce exchange this weekend, the intersection art project in October, and Thanksgiving baskets in November.  But, I also see Him using us individually and together to bless those we were praying for this summer.  I see you continuing to pray for your friends.  I see you reaching out to those you prayed for, and asking how you can bless them.  And, I see Jesus using this to bring your friends into His kingdom and into community.  Can you see Jesus using our Blessing rhythm to grow His kingdom among us?

The vision for the season is building up and expanding, building and growing our ministries of Hospitality, Discipleship, and Blessing.  Part of this expansion is the decision of the leadership team to pursue the possibility of hiring another part time pastor.  I see God drawing this person into our body, and using them to help make this expansion a reality.  I can see God using this person to build up the inside of the church through by helping Kim in providing leadership in Discipleship, creating and developing ways we can connect with God and each other.  I also see God using this person to develop new networks in the neighborhood, rapidly expanding the number of relationships we have as a church in outreach.  This is something God has placed on my heart for some time.  I believe it will help The Table become more sustainable in the future, and less dependent on my leadership, which long term is healthy.  I believe God will use a 2nd staff person to expand the ministries of our body.  So be praying for God to bring the right person for this task, and for the leadership as we discern the process.

The bottom line is that God has been moving among us, and will continue to move in us as we step out in faith this season, expanding ministries, living our rhythms, and following His lead.  I invite you to join me in following Jesus in making these visions of the future a reality.  Let us know if you are interested in any of the groups/activities mentioned.  The truth is also that we are a new church and we’re small.  If you feel something is lacking, talk to me, and pray about how you can build what is lacking.  But the truth is that God is growing in us as He grows our body, and He’s going to keep it up.  It’s an exciting season at The Table and I want you to join me in the fun.

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