What’s In It for Us?

What’s In It for Us?

For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.  2 Corinthians 4:5

Dr. Luther described sin as being essentially being man curved in on oneself, drawing from St. Augustine.  There is also a tendency for congregations to have a similar inward curvature as well.  On occasion, congregation leaders have resisted their pastors assisting other congregations during pastoral vacancy.  “What’s in it for us?” has been the question asked.

There is a great danger for the attitude in the Church to think only in terms of being served.  May we never forget that it is the Lord Jesus Christ, who serves us.  It is Jesus who got up from the table and washed the disciples feet.  It is still Jesus, who presides at table and serves as the host as He gives to us His own body and blood.  But since Jesus has served us, we are then to called to serve others individually and corporately.

The last few editions of Encourage have been focused on how congregations can see that they share in a common ministry of Word and Sacrament so that together they may labor for the sake of the kingdom.  As we approach the end of the first quarter of the Twenty-First Century, we see the number of multi-point congregations increasing across the Synod.  North and South Dakota districts now have approximately 70% of their congregations in dual parishes (or tri-point or four-point).  That number has increased to nearly 20% in Missouri District and is on the rise.  Rather than viewing other congregations as competition or turning away from them during a need, it is my prayer that our congregations will not turn in on ourselves, but will look outward for ways to serve others and reach the lost with the Gospel.  Churches engaged in multi-point congregations are not failures.  They are congregations looking for ways in which they can grow together in Christ and serve together for the sake of Christ’s kingdom.  I invite all of our congregation leaders to pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in considering ways in which their congregation might serve others and proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.

Prayer – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, You have knit together Your chosen people.  By Your Holy Spirit, enable us to walk together in faith, love and service that Your name be praised and Your kingdom would come among us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen. 

Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan

Comments are closed.