“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us…” Romans 12:4-6
Each fall, I take time to reflect on the reasons you called me to House of Prayer as your pastor. Those reasons help us together to focus on what is important for us as a congregation. The top five ministry tasks you held up for me include: 1) Preaching and Worship Leadership, 2) Pastoral Care and Visitation, 3) Youth and Family Ministry, 4) Christian Education and 5) Ministry in Daily Life. If I was asked to summarize what you have called me to do I would simply say – help to connect your faith with daily life!
In many ways this list of ministry tasks is your priority list for ministry at House of Prayer. In the scripture verse listed above it is clear that God has given all of us gifts for ministry. We need everyone who is a member of House of Prayer to successfully do the ministry GOD has called each of us to do.
A mentor of mine once said to me, “A Pastor’s job is not to shepherd all the people, but to make sure that all the people get shepherded.” I know that I cannot do everything. In fact, I don’t want to. Because for me, doing the entire Ministry here at House of Prayer would mean that I would rob each of you of the opportunity to use your gifts to participate in the ministry of Jesus Christ in the world.
So let me say this, I need your help! Christ would like your help! The Church Council needs your help. Now you are saying, I am not sure how to help! Or maybe you are saying things like I am too sick to help, or too busy to help. Well, here are some practical ways we need help at House of Prayer.
Let’s look at our priority list of ministries. We need people to help in many ways. Worship: You know the list; Ushers, Readers, Greeters, Communion Assistants, Musicians… etc. Pastoral Care and Visitation: First, if you know someone who is hurting or in need of prayer or a visit please call me or the church office. I often don’t know who to visit unless I hear from you! Second, If you can hold a conversation with someone (probably someone you know) you could be good at this. We are in need of people to visit and take Holy Communion to those who cannot make it to worship – and we’re not talking visiting the sick – you have called me to do this. I simply cannot get to everyone who needs a visit each month. Youth and Family: Many of you enjoy our family and intergenerational events. We have not hosted one of those for some time and these are simple events to pull together. If you would like to help plan or organize a simple family game night, square dance night, or another activity we could use your help. Christian Education: We are always looking for Sunday School teachers, helpers and people to lead Bible Studies. Again, think about how you can deepen your faith. Often teaching others helps to greatly deepen our own faith!
Are you are still feeling like you have nothing to offer? We need people to pray! We need prayers for House of Prayer, for the community, for the world! There are always things to pray for in our congregation and in the world. You can pray for those on our prayer card who are ill or for those in the world making decisions about war or about finding food for the hungry. You could be part of one of our prayer teams.
As your earthly shepherd I would challenge each of you to consider; how is your relationship with Christ? Are you working to deepen it? If you are feeling stuck… then I would challenge you to get involved, even if it is something simple. Because as you deepen your relationship with Christ you will find that the Holy Spirit will help you discover the other ways you can serve Christ’s church. This next month we begin an important Capital Campaign that will help us move forward both our faith and the ministry of House of Prayer. I encourage each of you to ask yourself, what more can I do to strengthen my relationship with Jesus Christ? How can I help Jesus with His ministry in the world? – Blessings, Pastor Dan