Saturday, October 2, 2010

Share & Prayer Experience #4- God's call to serve Him out of our uniqueness

What makes Walnut Hills Baptist church unique?

We are unique in a few different ways. For one – our location, we are in the midst of a very historical city, among people who value history and structures that have withstood history for 300 plus years. We are in the midst of a college town as well and within walking distance. We are in a tourist town and people that have visited that move here are already familiar with us.

We have folks in our church that have come from all over, all backgrounds and a variety of ages.

We have some original charter members still.

We all have a love not only for the Lord, but for one another. We really are like one large family. Most people in our church know most everyone.

How does the congregation’s understanding of its uniqueness help it discern God’s calling?

We are a very community friendly church. We are very welcoming and we do not hesitate to reach out to our community or to gather with other churches in our community (i.e. holiday programs, ecumenical services etc…)

We are not afraid to reach out and dig in to help our own community any time there is a need.

What is the relationship between the church’s uniqueness and the congregation’s accountability to God?

We feel it is our duty to take care of one another, to love our community and to embrace our culture, our history, and the college students that are with us for a time in their lives.

What do you believe might be the “bigger something” for the congregation at Walnut Hills Baptist Church?

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” NIV

What encouragement do you find in these words from God?

There is a plan for us- God will reveal it to us. We just have to be open to it and keep searching until we feel that we have found the direction that the Lord wants us to move in.

What plans do you sense God might have for WHBC?

I really believe that God wants us to put more into our own community. We do this now but not as a whole church. We don’t do these things representing our whole church I think God wants us to have a heart for the people next door in our own town.

“How does God’s calling and vision emerge out of the spiritual journey?”

By paying attention to our surroundings, the people, the places, the events and occatsions for opportunity when it presents itself- we have to be observant, give recognition and be willing to engage and participate.-Where are we- in geographic, social, and cultural context?
Geographically we are in a historical town, a tourist town, a retirement community, a college town, close to the water (beaches) and ethnicaly diverse. We are socialy diverse as well as economically diverse.
-When are we- in the flow of history and change of our community?
We are in a time of transition, recession, change in goverment leadership, time of war with other countries. In our community we are in a time of recession, tourism struggles, education struggles, new poverty, people losing jobs and homes etc...
-Who are we- in continuity with our past and in consideration of our present?
We are changed- church leadership has changed, we have grown in size- new members, new classes, new training, new journey's. We are still stable but moving forward- not staying stagnant.

What did you discover that might help the congregation discern God’s call to serve him out of the uniqueness that is WHBC?

We have many new people with many new talents and ideas. We need to listen, not judge, try new things, expect failures AND successes. We need to pay attention to the signs around us that God is giving us as a church.

Pray thanksgiving for the specific unique characteristics of WHBC

Pray for spiritual discernment of God’s call upon your life.

Pray that WHBC will clearly hear God’s voice and discern how its unique people, geographic and cultural context, gifts and talents, life and ministry experiences, and resources speak to God’s will and desires.

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