Your Invitation to a New Thing
I have a few words and an invitation for the congregation of BCC. This coming Monday night, October 16 we plan to have a worship, prayer, and listening meeting.
Let me explain.
Several months ago, the staff of the church laid out a path forward for our church. We strongly believe that God is calling us to carry the gospel into our community. With great passion and desire we hope to see churches like our’s spring up in the area. Churches that clearly communicate in word and deed that we are broken sinners. That we ourselves are not better than anyone who doesn’t attend church. Where the good news of the gospel is front and center in all things. And where that reality alone motivates our outward mission into Bismarck and Mandan.
We want to see our own church and any others that may arise out of our gospel centered life and witness to live out this simple truth we believe. That our only hope is that Jesus is making us new.
We believe he doesn’t merely make us new for heaven. He makes us new now. He makes us new by giving us community where we can be honest about our struggles and learn to follow him. He makes us new by the hearing and doing of his word. He makes us new by the bread, wine and water. And by his work among us, he gives us new life here and now and into eternity.
This we strongly believe. And we believe he is calling us forward into a new movement of the gospel that will alter us to the core. We also believe that when Christ works this way among us, others who do not know Jesus will want to know him. So we want to be ready to do what God is calling us toward.
We are excited about that. Thrilled, really! Because there is no greater feeling than joining God in his work of “Thy Kingdom Come.”
But in order to get there, we believe there are a few things we need to do first.
So we, the staff, presented some ideas to the leaders of church and then the congregation that we believe need to get done so they can be behind us. Things like bathroom remodels, new carpeting, general maintenance work on the exterior of our building, and some updates in certain areas.
Again, this was my idea. It was the idea of the staff of the church, it was supported by the leaders, and given to the people and actually approved last spring.
But we want to step back.
Remember, the goal is freedom to do what God is calling us to do. So we want to hear from you. What do you think God is calling us to do?
This monday night, we want to model what we say we believe. We want to set aside agendas and plans. And we will simply worship together.
If we can’t first recognize that lifting God up among us is first and most important – then we really don’t need a building or a future. The church has existed from the resurrection of Christ through the apostles, the church fathers, the reformation, and into the future for one purpose – for the Glory of God among the nations.
His glory and fame must be first in all of our hearts and our singular mission and goal.
We want to set everything else aside and worship together. Just. Come. And. Worship.
We will start that Monday night, October 16th at 6:30.
Then, we want to hear from you.
Ever since Acts chapter 2 when the church was moved by the Spirit, there have been people standing around saying, “why are they doing that?” Or worse, “why are ‘YOU’ doing that?”
Whenever someone who is a part of our church refers to this church as “you” or “they” I correct them. This is an US thing. This is OUR thing. Actually it’s Christ’s thing, but it is given to us to work together in. This is how he does what he does.
No one needs to be left behind. We want to hear your thoughts. Now, we are indeed led by those elders and deacons we have chosen, but we want to hear your thoughts, we want to know your pains, your fears, your doubts. We also want to hear your dreams, your passions, and your hopes! Come and bring all of these on Monday night!
Because this is how the Spirit works. Monday night you may come with an idea no one ever thought of. Let us hear it. You may have a certain thing you care about. Don’t complain in a year. Don’t sit around a table at home and ask questions. Come and share that with us Monday night. There will be no decisions made, there will only be thoughts, prayers and most importantly community.
We need to repent.
I need to repent of being certain my ideas are the best and brightest. I need to repent of not wanting to wait around on the Holy Spirit.
Some people need to repent of complaining.
Others need to repent of fearing community.
Yet others may need to repent of not wanting to change.
If you don’t have anything to repent of (which means to change your mind and heart), well – you probably don’t want to be a part of our church, because admitting that you are wrong is the first step in gospel living.
And what we want more than anything is to be people who model gospel living.
Whatever it may mean for the building where we worship, or for our future as a church, we must be building community through loving each other well. If not, we are not a church. We are an organization that offers programs to the community.
If you are a part of our church, we need you to join us Monday night. If you are a part of our larger community, we invite you to both worship with us and watch as we struggle, pray, and strive to become a gospel centered community of broken people being made whole by the power of Christ at work among us.
This great news that sets us free is our highest and best hope. Let us never allow anything to put it in second place. Join us Monday night at 6:30 to help us figure out what gospel living looks like.