In May, 2015, the Session held its annual retreat—this time in conjunction with the Sessions of St. Giles and Community West (the other two churches in our Ministry Affinity Group of the ECO). Over the course of the weekend, we reflected on a variety of topics, but one was this: How is God working today in our congregation? Also, based on the analysis, we suggest that there are things we want to do better. We provide these for the use of people in the congregation.
People often see only what they look for. Christ Church is a unique church. We are made of people of diverse ethnicities, of all ages, and of many denominational backgrounds, and our varying traditions have prepared us to see God at work in different ways. But it’s also easy to think that if God isn’t working in ways our tradition has valued, then God must not be working at all. So, just in case you did not come from a background that values each of these, we thought that you—like each of us—might not be seeing God’s hand clearly at work. We hope this list (and you might be able to add to it) will help us to see some of the ways God is at work among us—ways that we might tend to overlook.
In which activities do we see God's hand at work at Christ Pres today?
- Eagerness for corporate prayer, including public confession and adoration.
- Lots of excitement in our youth group and involvement in worship (i.e., youth Sundays, sermons, leading worship).
- Men’s group synergy and new excitement.
- Young adult group with several unchurched people in regular attendance.
- High participation in Sunday morning women’s group and Manse group.
Ministry to the Broader Community
- Ministering to the community, as individuals (i.e. STEP, Chat, Crossover, Kirby’s ministry to moms and to children, Mercy ministry, widows and orphans, providing use of our building to other churches).
- Our identity – as individuals, as twos and threes, we go out into the community, as a sending base.
- We have sent lots of foreign missionaries.
Biblical and Faith Literacy
- Sermons that teach the Bible and build Bible literacy.
- Education (adult teaching, adult groups, children’s church, Bible memory competition, sermons).
- Sunday class at manse on virtues and Christian formation.
- God had been faithful to provide for our financial needs, and we moving in a positive direction.
What do we want to do better?
- Tell our story better of the things we do well.
- Document the many ministries that we already do.
- Be more intentional in planning and organizing our programs.
Signs and Wonders
- We would love to see God do more miracles and bring healing among us.
- Manifestations (signs, miracles, emotional expressivity) of the Holy Spirit
Renewal in Worship
- Not just going through the motions of worship styles and content, even if they are good motions. How do we renew and revitalize worship?
- We might partner with St. Giles and Community West (shared pulpit, shared teachers, shared programs, joining with ministries they do)
- Being in relationships that lead to evangelism.
- Creating a culture of making disciples in the church and workplace.
- Serving the community as a church body.
- Short burst of energy for limited community projects.
Ministry to People within the Congregation
- Be able to help people deal with sin in our lives without being judgmental as counselors—in ways full of grace and truth.
One of the things we want to do is tell our story better. This list is a way to begin this. We hope you will join us in looking for different ways that God is at work in our congregation.
We have noted that, while we do not do a lot of outreach or ministry programs as an entire congregation, we are highly involved as individuals and small groups of two or three at ministering to other Christians, to needy people locally, and to people more geographically dispersed. To help tell our story better about those ministries, we are asking your help. Would you be willing to write a brief summary of the ways you are ministering to others and emailing it to David Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have access to email, you can give a written list to him at church. We will try to summarize these on the website so we can all appreciate the ways God is using us to serve the community and world.
Yours, in Christ,
The Session of Christ Pres