Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pursuing Missional Faithfullness- Q & A

1. What have you heard from God that you expected to hear or hoped to hear?

Jesus loved His Father and communicated with Him often. He prayed for wisdom and guidance in His earthly ministry. Jesus prayed for God to strengthen his disciple’s ministry once He departed from them. He prayed with honesty and reverence. He prayed with joy and praise. But most of all, Jesus prayed with expectation. He knew the Father heard His prayers and would respond.

I believe God will hear us and has heard us- all the prayer triplets, our ministers and our congregation as we pray seeking what He would have us do and be as a church now and in the future. I believe He will answer us and lead us in His direction. This is and has been my expectation. I believe we are being given wisdom and guidance right now- through this experience. I believe God is strengthening our ministry right now through this experience.

2. What did you hear from God that was unexpected or a surprise?

I noticed that one of God’s main objectives is a “restored” relationship and a close fellowship with Him-no matter who we are. I don’t think that we can be good stewards of God’s word and work if we ourselves are not on good terms or in close relationship with Him.

I could list the things that my triplet came up with that we feel are needs and areas in the church that we could move towards and projects that we could recommend taking on- but I think each of us in my triplet realized in the big picture: This experience is not about us. It is about reaching for God and forming OR repairing OR maintaining and improving our relationship with Him first and foremost. Then it is about letting Him lead us. We have to let go and let God. *we find our way by following God’s spirit!*

3. What did you hear from God that requires change- or risk-taking- in your life or the life of the congregation?

GOD HAS A SPECIAL & UNIQUE PURPOSE FOR EACH OF OUR LIVES this was apparent throughout our study guides and it really was a strong thread in my prayer triplet as you may remember our power point presentation a few weeks ago during the worship service where we emphasized this verse:
" For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

GOD PLACES A DESIRE AND A PASSION IN OUR HEARTS TO DO THE THINGS HE CALLS US TO DO & GOD'S PRESENCE & POWER WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU WHEN HE CALLS YOU (He will never leave you)- I found that all Christians (as different as we all are) are in the same boat! We all experience doubt and confusion.
I think that even though there may be risk involved we should at least try. I think that a risk not tried is a potential success that has failed before it has been given the opportunity to be realized. In my own life and in my community (including WHBC) I think that where people are sick or hurting (physically or emotionally) - we should risk bringing help or healing. I think that where there is miscommunication a chance for clarity should be risked. I think that those we feel the need to judge or hate- we should risk praying for them (and ourselves) first instead. I think we should always risk forgiveness and love. I think we should risk being uncomfortable at the expense of making someone else feel comfortable or even loved and cared for.

God already has a purpose for my life- that is a scary thought if I am honest. Scary because I don’t think I have been privileged yet as to what that purpose is! And the scarier thing is that I may never realize what that purpose is. But God knows, and He knows how to work in my life to achieve that purpose- what scares me is that I could choose to inadvertently not work toward that purpose. I feel the need to be in control much more often than I feel the need to not be in control! Letting go of that need for control and letting God be in total control is a change that I need to make that to me is a considerable risk. But through this experience, I have learned that –that may be exactly what I need to do. That may in fact be just what God is saying to me. It could be what God is saying to our church as well.

4. What more do you need to hear from God, or hope to hear, before you can write the story of God’s call and intended future for Walnut Hills Baptist Church?

I think personally I need to hear that taking a risk is okay and that even if taking that risk ends in failure, at least it was attempted and that the next risk would still be worth it. I think I need to hear that we are in this with God and with one another and as much as God is there to hold us up, so are we there to support one another. I think I need to hear that no idea, no suggestion, no voice is stupid. I think I need to hear that people won’t get carried away with, but that they will get excited about change. I think that I need to hear that risk taking requires us to lean on God- thus teaching us humility, trust and responsibility in our relationship with God. I think I need to hear that people get it, that they get that this is a journey with God- and we are all on this journey together. I think that I need to hear that people are excited to be on this journey with one another moving with God, not before or after Him, not before or after one another, but together. And I need to hear that not having a clear and detailed agenda or schedule is okay and you can still move forward without one- figuring it out as you go, and moving with the changes that will inevitably come with the territory. Change = Fear is something that has always struck me, however through this experience thus far I am learning that Change is less equal to fear than it is equal to intrigue and possibilities when God is in that change. And I think I need to hear that this process is not just a trend, but a foundation for our future (personal and church) to continue to build on.

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