Dear brothers and sisters,
This is the fifth and final week of our series Rebuilt, which has been all about the principles, practices, and attitudes that we think are essential to rebuild our parish. We’ve talked about the mission of the Church to make disciples; that we need to step out in faith; that all church members need to serve in ministry or missions; and that all of us must have a heart for the lost, just as Jesus does. Today we are looking at disciples as leaders. In Revelation 21, we find John the Apostle’s vision of a New Heaven and a New Earth. The image of the holy city and the bride is the Church. In Heaven there is no more pain, crying, or mourning. Then, in Rev 21:5 we hear: The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Jesus makes all things new, and disciples of Jesus are also called to bring newness, freshness, and vitality to wherever it is lacking. This is the task of the Church as a whole. However, you might question this, because so often we view the Church as unchanging, and perhaps stale and lacking in life. Certainly the Church is supposed to be stable, since Christ is the Alpha and the Omega; but there is also supposed to be a newness to how the Church presents our ancient Tradition. Our vision for St. John’s Parish is to foster a kind of “dynamic orthodoxy” – that is, true to the Scripture and teachings of the Church, but also bringing newness and freshness to our Church and our world. Yes, technology and other things are to play a role as the best means to reach today’s generation, but this is NOT about being trendy. This work is not our own effort alone; it is Christ who makes all things new, and we all have a role to play, in our families and workplaces, to creatively bring Christ into all areas of our lives and societies. We do this in partnership with Christ by first examining all areas of our lives and culture where Christ is lacking, and this starts in our own hearts and souls. Second, we find out what is working in other places, where God is working elsewhere, and bring it into our own environments. Our goal in renewing St. John’s Church is to bring what Christ blesses elsewhere, and let him bless it here. Jesus is always working to bring newness, freshness, and life to the Church and the world. To be Christian leaders means to join him in this mission. Questions for Small Groups:
Read aloud Revelations 21:5. What do you think Jesus means by that statement?
Jesus says he makes all things new. What role do we have in keeping the church fresh and new, while remaining true to the Tradition of our Church?
What are the new things Christ wants you to do?
Who are the successful people who you can learn from in your field or industry?
Jesus refreshes us and brings new life. How do you encounter Jesus in ways that revives and refreshes your spirit? When you do you feel alive in Christ?
Where do you feel like you need Jesus to make you new?