It is hard to believe that 2011 is almost gone. Completely gone. Did you spend it, waste it, or invest it? And now that 2012 is here, what will you do with it? Let me tell you what I have determined for me.
I am going to spend 2012 the way that I want to spend the rest of my life, committed to two priorities in my ministry: Discipleship and Missions. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples.” Discipleship is a lifetime process, but disciples are made, not born. Jesus didn’t say, “Go make converts.” He said, “Make disciples.” A disciple is one who follows Jesus, is transformed by Jesus in character, and who adopts the mission of Jesus in this world.”
Missions is not geographical. It is up to God to determine where on the map, but it is intentional. For me missions is twofold: It is about engaging lostness with the Gospel, and planting churches. It is doing what Christ called us to do.
We made a fresh start in the church I serve as pastor this year. In October, we relaunched as Church Unleashed @ Beulah. We are the same, but different. We are still a denominational church (Southern Baptist), but that is not foremost. Foremost is our commitment to the Lordship of Christ, the authority of Scripture, and Advancing the Kingdom of God. We have chosen the vehicle of the SBC as our transportation in this journey. That does not mean we do not have strong convictions about how we do what we do. We are who we are by choices based on our convictions.
In a sense you might say, “We are not your grandmother’s Baptist church.” I do not mean anything offensive at all by that statement. Grandmother’s church was great for grandmother’s day. We must never compromise the Word of God and the misison of the church.Those essentials never change. But we must adjust our methodology to reach our current generation. We have have embraced our heritage deeply and securely, but we are determined to appreciate it, not worship it. We will build on our history as we engage our future.So in saying that we have changed, we have not compromised truth, but we are seeking to engage our contemporary Gospel with the truth with methods of ministry that are authentic, engaging, and even fun.
Some may have struggled with this transition. If you are one of those, we invite you to embrace the God given vision of impacting this community and reaching the ends of the earth. Join us in that effort. If you cannot do it through Church Unleashed, if you feel God has lead you somewhere else to serve we will love you, pray for you, and consider you our common workers in the mission of God.This is an exciting time and opportunity before all of us. Already we are seeing God move in our church and community in a powerful way. SO how will you greet 2012? Will you spend it, or will you invest it? I am confident you will not waste it. God bless you.