Happy New Year to all! What an opportunity we have right after the birth of Christ in our lives to reflect on our lives, set new goals, and allow the Spirit to work in new ways. Many of you may be starting new diets or routines including exercise. That’s always a good goal. We encourage you on to a healthier life so you can live long and we can love each other longer.
Perhaps it’s organization, time management, personal devotion, or reading the Bible through the year. More power to you there as well! We’ve got this one chance at life, and I’d love to join you in your efficiency in daily life so you can reach upward and onward!
Here at the church, we are starting January with an intentional reflection and plan of action I’m calling “12 Months to a Fit (Church) Body.” It’s not a group diet or physical fitness course per se, but rather a year of focus on the health, tone, and definition of the church body.
The first thing that happens when someone wants to improve is to recognize that there is room for improvement, as there is always room for improvement. Now, I’m not going to turn into a religious Cross Fit instructor, and I’m not responsible for telling you you need to improve something. That’s between you and God. Our goal for the year and the church is 1.) to make sure that we are being a body of Christ presentable to the Lord, and 2.) to prepare the tradition of serving God and each other in such a manner that it can be passed to future generations.
On a philosophical level, the goal is to be a body of believers where the weak and new can be strengthened, encouraged, and feel like they are welcome and belong; where the life-long Christians can still be challenged and renewed; where the ones with energy and inspiration can be plugged in and their talents be utilized; where the tired can rest; where those hungry for knowledge and thirsty for truth can find satisfaction; where we can all grow old together, raising up the next generation to continue the claiming of God’s kingdom on this earth.
On a physical level, the goal is to finish fixing everything on the church grounds that needs fixing or updating so our future budget can be more intentionally focused on service, camps, education, missions, and more broad relational and community improvements.
On the organizational level, we will be more clearly defining how our church has come to express itself in regards to leadership, membership, roles and tasks. What does it mean to be a member? How do you even become a member? How do we train a leadership team that can guide the tasks of the church in a transparent and blameless manner? How can we “grease the wheels” without turning into a machine? What tasks are currently needed for smooth operation, who does them, and how can we minimize the risk of burnout? And most importantly, amid the organizing and tasks, how can we make sure we do not become a task oriented body rather than one that overflows our energy from abundant grace and steadfast faith?
This year, we won’t be preaching “Churchianity” from the pulpit - we still focus on Christ, who is our head. I pray that wherever you are in your walk, wherever you are in this community, that you are stirred toward the involvement in one way or another in the goal of becoming a fit body for Christ. Let us know how we can help.
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Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.