In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6
“Ok, but future is uncertain” was the answer that made me pause. As part of the Re: vitality workshop, there was a survey that just the head pastor took. It asked for the health of the congregation. Answers ranged from “closing soon” to vibrant and excited about the future”. We are doing fine financially as we started the summer with a surplus. We are doing renovations with memorial money this summer and we are doing OK with summer block parties and a few new members over the last couple months. The question made me wonder about the future. We are graying with more than half of the congregation over 50. We struggle with Sunday school. Both of those are normal in a lot of traditional churches but are they healthy.
The future of the greater church is not in doubt for me. As we studied “The Story”, it was evident that the Old Testament Church had lows that the church has not yet experienced. The New Testament Church faced persecution that is unheard of in our time. God brought both churches through those struggles. He will bring the church of today through our struggles. It might take a crisis like an Old Testament famine (financial crisis) or a New Testament persecution to wake up church members like such crisis has done in the past. If so, I guess we have it coming. I trust God to do whatever it takes to bring people to salvation.
It made me wonder about Bethany. Like the Philippian church, we are small and we feel poor at times. Paul was confident about them. I am confident about us. Your willingness to be part of Re: vitality (at this time 15 of the 18 slots are claimed) is a sign of your faithfulness and confidence in the future. Your willingness to try things like block parties and trunk or treat events says a lot about your heart and your commitment to Christ. With Christ, the future is certain. It is just that we all have to be with Christ. Our Lord can do anything. He has resources that are infinite and power that can move mountains. Re: vitality is not about us figuring out how we can do it. It is about learning to partner with God so that He can move mountains through us. Maybe I need to change my answer to OK, but future is certain with Jesus leading us onward.