Insight: Time – August 2014

This is the newsletter portion for the August newsletter from Grace Evangelical Church.

Did someone say it was August? Where did Spring go? School is already beginning for students? I know that one second today is no quicker than one second 50 years ago, but the days seem to go faster! I remember when I was young, the time was reasonable, but now the days are rippling by like a stream rushing down a mountain! Continue reading

Insights: Long Winters

Indiana has long, cold winters, but they are few and far between compared to 2013 – 2014. I’m used to the Jet stream trends that draw cold air down from the north, but  I hadn’t been familiar with the term “polar vortex” until this year. A polar vortex1 is an area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere that has centers near Canada’s Baffin Island (NE Canada) or over northeast Siberia. You know it as “cold temperatures!” Here in Indiana our winter has been longer and colder than usual. I’m sure there are some who would love to take a nap and wake up in the Spring! Continue reading

Connect; Equip; Multiply: Vision for Growth

This newsletter article was printed for the August, 2012, Grace and Truth Newsletter.

Connect; Equip; Multiply

August 2012

It’s hard to drive down the road while looking into thick fog.  That’s why clear vision is a key ingredient for forward movement.  A Vision statement needs to be simple, memorable and clear to guide us where we need to go.

Most of us are visually oriented.  Imagine keeping your eyes closed for 24 hours!  A Visionstatement captures the mind to tell people where they are going and guides them along the way.  Visionis the picture that gives people a sense of belonging and community.

Before we continue with Vision, let’s note the mission statement and purpose of Grace.  A Mission states why an organization exists.  Our Mission statement is: “Love God, love others and make disciples to Jesus Christ.”  Purpose defines why the vision and mission statements matter.  Our purpose is found in our constitution and states,

The purpose of Grace Evangelical Church shall be to glorify God by means of teaching and preaching of the Word of God, by fellowshipping with one another, by discipling believers into maturity, by emphasizing spiritually strong families, by providing a weekly time of corporate worship and prayer, and by encouraging believers to share the good news of Christ through life and words in the sphere of the home, community and throughout the world.

If we are clear on our purpose, we must be clear on our Vision.  There are three statements in our Vision:

·         Connecting together to worship God

·         Equipping together in grace to be more like Christ

·         Multiplying together with the gospel to reach the world

Let’s note several thoughts about these statements. First, each statement includes the word “together.”  We are the Bride of Christ together.  We will all one day worship together before His throne:

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and .the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”1 

We gather together to honor Him in worship in one purpose of the Bride of Christ.

 

Secondly, each statement is proactive and measures something. Paul writes,

[Communication gifts were given]…for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;  14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head– Christ–  16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.2

You can tell when you are connected – you are in fellowship with people at church and “knit together”, growing to unity of the faith (doctrine).  You can tell when you are equipped – you are in the work of ministry.  You can tell when you are multiplying – you are training and sending your replacement.
Thirdly, each statement focuses attention vertically and horizontally. The horizontal element is seen in the equal standing we have together before God.   The vertical element is seen in “worshipping God,” becoming “more like Christ” and taking the “gospel [good news from heaven]” to reach the world.

Connect, Equip and Multiply.  Those three words will see us through to accomplish God’s purpose for Grace.  I’ll take each word in the next three months to amplify and help us capture the Elder’s vision so you can see where we’re going!

1Revelation 5:11,12; 2Ephesians 4:12-16