What Is the Purpose of Our Congregation in God’s Eyes?
Growing up my family instituted a number of unusual Christmas traditions. For years we bought one another little wind-up toys. We regularly hid one another’s gifts throughout the house and sent one another off to follow a trail of clues. But one of my favorite traditions was the mystery gift.
My mother would buy something unusual and we had to guess what it was or what its purpose was. One year we unwrapped what you see in the picture attached to this blog. After weeks of unsuccessful guessing (a drum stick, a torch, a medieval instrument of torture, etc.) I finally snuck the thing over to a friend’s house and asked his mom if she knew what it was. Only then did I learn what a honey dipper is!
So, what if we unwrapped the church, our church, Prince of Peace? What would we say our purpose is in God’s eyes? Just as someone created a honey dipper for a specific purpose, God created Prince of Peace for a specific purpose too. The question is what’s our purpose? Of course, we share lots of common purposes with churches all over the world. We exist to worship God, love our neighbor and build one another up, among other things. But what is Prince of Peace uniquely called to do and to be in the community in which we’ve been planted?
We may be able to reflect on how God has made Prince of Peace and discern our purpose, in the same way that we might reflect upon the shape of a honey dipper to discern it’s specific purpose. But I want to invite you to take this question to your Divine Neighbor, to God the creator and sustainer of our church, and ask what the purpose of our church is through God’s eyes.
Soon our Vision Team is going to invite us to share our hopes and dreams for Prince of Peace. It’s a part of the Team’s process as they discern the pathway forward. It’s the desire of my heart that our hopes and dreams would be rooted and grounded in God’s hopes and dreams, and discerning God’s hopes and dreams often takes quiet, thoughtful, patient reflection. That’s the Lenten discipline into which we’re all being invited.
I’m anxious to know what you’re hearing, sensing and discerning in prayer. Please leave a comment and join the conversation. We have a lot to learn and discover together!