It is hard to say good-bye to a beloved pastor that the Lord has called to a new place. It raises uncertainty and concern. However, it is also an opportunity to examine the health and vitality of the congregation, to make changes in both activity and attitude and to chart a new course that leads the congregation to a bright future.
The over 30 leaders of St. Lucas met recently to chart this new beginning. A review of vital signs of the congregation showed a slow, general decline, while an examination of the ministry area around the church showed great need and opportunity.
Those gathered were unanimous in their resolve to not “go quietly into the night,” but to recommit themselves to a vital ministry that fulfills the mission of the congregation in “Bringing people to Christ – Nurturing people in Christ – Equipping people for Christ.”
Goals, noted above for year-end and by Easter 2017, were adopted at the meeting. These “vital signs” reflect not engagement of new initiatives, but attention to strengthening core ministries which will be attractive both to potential new members and to a potential new pastor, who will evaluate if he considers St. Lucas to be a place where he can do fruitful ministry. The goals may seem ambitious. However, we know that we have a God who can do great things. We are confident in the power of the Gospel, because as Romans 1:16 says, “It is the power of God to salvation . . .” — Pastor Mark Larson
How can I be involved?
• Pray – We need to implore God’s help as we move forward.
• Be faithful – To reach our goals, weekly worship attendance and energetic service is needed: “I was glad when they said, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Ps 122:1).
• Serve — Please say yes if you are invited to serve or call one of the leaders above to volunteer. We are the body of Christ and every part is needed (1 Co 12).
• Be positive – “We are St. Lucas!” God has given us the resources, the leaders, but chiefly the Gospel to fulfill our mission. Uphold our leaders; they are doing their best. Bring your concerns, but be encouraging as we move forward with a united vision and purpose.
• Invite – Invite other church members, your family, friends and neighbors. Invitation will be key. Invite someone and see what the Holy Spirit does.
What happens next?
Be in worship each week to hear a Sermon Series on Jesus’ Letters to the Churches from the Book of Revelation for messages that are relevant us and powerful to touch our hearts.
Join us for Sunday morning Bible class on Revelation as well at 9:15.
Sept. 11: Rev. 2:1-6 Falling in Love with Jesus Again (Church at Ephesus) Jesus admonished the church at Ephesus for having “lost its first love.” How do we fall in love with Jesus again?
Sept. 18: Rev. 3:1-6 Wake up, and Strengthen What Remains (Church at Sardis) Jesus calls us to approach our spiritual lives wide awake in faith and works. Wake up!
Sept. 25: Rev. 2:8-11 Do Not Be Afraid (Church at Smyrna) Jesus encourages us not to be afraid of suffering for Him because “the crown of life” awaits.
Oct. 2: Rev. 3:7-13 An Open Door that No One can Shut (Church at Philadelphia) Jesus, through His cross, has opened the door to heaven, a door that no one can shut!
What else will be happening?
We just got started, so there are a lot of details to work out, but look for the following emphases this fall:
• October – Outreach to share the Gospel with those around us.
• November – Stewardship and Thanksgiving
• December – A really great celebration of Christmas!