Musing 10.9.20

PASTOR JOHN’S MUSING 10.9.2020

“Lord, what is Your will for my life in this matter as it relates to Your will for our church at this time? What do You want to do through me as it affects what You are trying to do through our church?"

This prayer is in the Commitment Guide for King Avenue’s “Coming Together for Transformation” campaign. I hope you are aware of the campaign and have been reading the literature that you have received at home and is available online at kingave.org. Please take 30 minutes now to read about the campaign. I hope you plan to attend one of the information meetings this week. In the coming weeks, as we approach Commitment Sunday on November 15, I’ll write about why I am committed to the campaign and am enthusiastic about it. We have numerous committees working on some aspect of it. This morning our consultant told me there are over 100 King Avenue members working on it. Wow! It is exciting that they have such energy.

Now to the prayer which you’ll receive in a mailing soon, if not already. The tendency in these campaigns it to go quickly to the money. The campaign is really about our future. Will our building continue to be a facility through which God works? Will we be equipped for the new ministries to which God calls us? Will we be in a position for God to work though us? Our concern for our building as a site for future ministry and our concern for future ministries reaching out of King Avenue go before money.

This prayer asks me to see my money and resources not so much as cold cash but as a warm spiritual concern. This prayer turns money into a spiritual issue. Our use of money has always been a spiritual issue; the prayer just makes us aware of it. How I spend my money is indicative of what God is trying to do through me. How King Avenue spends its money is indicative of what God is trying to do through our church. My spending is not only about giving to King Avenue. The question is, “What is God trying to do through me on whatever I spend my money?” The prayer reminds me that God is a player in my use of money. And that affects my relationship to God. Often, we think of prayer, Bible study, fasting, and worship as faith formation. The use of money is also faith formation and reflects how our spirit has been shaped.

“Lord, what do You want to do through me as it affects what you are trying to do through our church?” is about money, but it is about more than money. It is about our time, relationships, space, community, justice, speech, and talents. What is God trying to do through me is again about not only what I do in relation to King Avenue, but also what I do outside my King Avenue relationship. You may say that is all encompassing. It is. It is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

“Lord, what do You want to do through me…as it affects what you are trying to do in my marriage, in my family, in my neighborhood?” The next time I am in conflict, anger, turmoil, unforgiveness, judgment; it would do me well to pray this prayer.

I think it is extraordinary that God is trying to do something through me, us, King Avenue. We are incredibly important to God. We have been using the image of a formation of a clay pot for the campaign. We have, as Paul writes, this treasure in clay jars (II Corinthians 4:7). God has mission and ministry in mind. We are the ones God asks to be in mission and ministry. God is trying to work through us to open doors of sanctuary, to create new avenues of ministry, to equip Christians for discipleship, and to lead reconciling ministries.

As regards the comprehensive campaign, we don’t start with boilers, bricks, mortar, stained glass windows, or livestreaming. We don’t start with money. Those are the means to an end which is ministry. We start with prayer. “Lord, what do you want to do through me as it affects what you are trying to do through our church?” The campaign and our commitment begin with this prayer. Before you click off, spend 60 seconds praying this prayer.

Hope you are safe and well.