I left you on Monday and Tuesday with some of the thoughts that I took down in notes from the Intentional Church Conference held at FCC last Saturday.
As I mentioned, we only attended the morning sessions as we had places to be and people to see, but it was a packed house and great event for the half day we were able to participate.
Looking back over my notes and even the highlighted points from Monday and Tuesday posted here on the Journey, I step back and have to ask…but what does that look like for me?
I have a degree of influence through the roles I am allowed to fill as a Sunday School teacher and co-leader of some of the prayer ministries at my local church.
I work two days a week in the public setting of a sweet little shop and have been honored and blessed to be given the opportunity to have my own consignment business of clothing in there for the past nine months.
This has opened the door for me to meet people in that industry in person and through customer service calls.
At least once a week on average, I am the resident adult for the band of brothers and little miss thing…and I still am the voice in the heads of three Reimer kiddos who, like it or not…live under the sphere of my prayers and moods and love and angst.
There are friends and acquaintances and mentors and mentees who swirl around my days like beautiful butterflies landing and taking off and I miss some opportunities with them, and I catch a few and relish in the fellowship.
I have my husband who is my best friend and partner and chief supporter and needs me to be the same.
And on the other side of this screen, on any given day of the week, unknown faces stop by to read the things I have tapped out on these keys.
So as I look at what living on mission is for me, I realize I am not called to change church policy or hold up signs for or against decisions being made in the political arena.
For the most part, I know how to love my people well – I just don’t always have the time or energy to do it.
I know what is right and I know what is wrong and I know that if we all could just figure that out and do it, the world would be better.
I also am keenly aware I have no power or authority to make people choose to do what is right.
I am not good at overlooking blatant sin and defiance of God and His Word and so I struggle with how it looks to welcome everyone and make them feel like they belong even when they seem to be thumbing their nose at everything I believe to be true and right.
So I need help.
And I think that is what the biggest takeaway from the conference was for me.
Each of us must examine ourselves and our devotion to Jesus.
We need to crack open those Bibles we keep holding up, and read and let it sink in.
Meditating on what His ministry looked like.
Not coloring it in with modern political correctness nor American moralism, but truly asking the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and hearts until the Word of God burns in us a fresh passion for Jesus.
And then, humbling ourselves and asking Him to change and transform us through the power of His Word so that we can walk out into the sphere of real influence He has placed us in…
for me personally…
to look back over that list I made up there at the top and ask God for His eyes and His heart for each group.
And I mean – each group….the ones I already think I love well and the ones that are….
hard to love.
I cannot do this without Him.
We, as the Church, cannot love the people God is sending us to minister to WITHOUT Him.
So my biggest takeaway…
What am I doing today to spend more time seeking God so that I can be on mission with Him to seek and save the lost?
And then make it intentional in my life to do more of that and less of the stuff that distracts me from the only thing I can do each day to share the Good News of Jesus Christ that this world so desperately needs.
Last night I attended St Paul’s Lenten service and this prayer of confession was in the bulletin.
I hope they don’t mind me sharing – there is no author credited.
Confession and Absolution
You asked for my hands, that You might use them for Your purpose.
I gave them to You, then withdrew them, for the work was hard.
You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice. I gave You a whisper that I might not be accused.
You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty. I closed them, for I did not want to see.
You asked for my life, that You might work through me. I gave a small part, that I might not get too involved.
Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve You – only when it is convenient for me to do so, only in those places where it is safe to do so and only with those who make it easy to do so.
Father, forgive me, renew me, send me out as a usable instrument, that I might take seriously the meaning of Your cross. Amen
If you prayed that prayer with a sincere heart, I must remind you as we were reminded in the service.
You are forgiven.
Don’t waste the following moments regretting how you have fallen short.
Receive the forgiveness of our Grace-filled God and leave your guilt and shame at the Cross of Christ.
Pick up YOUR cross…and follow hard after Him.
He is worthy <3