2022-02-06 09-59-50.mkv

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FULL MESSAGE TEXT/AUDIO/ETC. at https://gracesummit.org/Messages/20220206
The Church has undergone significant changes – even before the Pandemic. Our church has changed – and it has affected us as well – I am not going to talk about the bad things in our culture –
2 Chron. 12:32 Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.
Change is reality – we cannot deny it. However, like these Issacharians, we can grow in our understanding of our times so that we may gain a better knowledge of what the Lord would have us do moving forward.
There is a problem with all of this – there are multiple voices in our world – that are declaring their understanding of the times and what we are to do – from politics to culture to even what the Church should be doing. The reality is that none is completely correct.
The same thing is happening in the Church. There are multiple voices declaring that they have the understanding of the times and what the Church is to do – and none of these is absolutely correct.
For us – no individual is going to be able to discern the future direction for our church.
We are a body. 1 Cor. 12
Each person needs to contribute at whatever level they can – and every voice matters and needs to be heard in order for us to understand our times, right here, in this corner of our world. Every voice matters and needs to be heard if we are going to discern what God has for us.
Ephesians talks about each participates and provides – for the proper working of each person – just like a body – if one part is not working well, it affects all of us.
This is the first step of a conversation that we want to have with the whole church body. And then I said – we are not making any decisions at all tonight. Decision making will take time. I’m not saying years! We are small, we can hear from everyone.
Our church is smaller than it was two years ago – we know that – most churches are.
I appreciate all of you who come live – and also, those of you who have faithfully watched on the livestream – one is not better than the other – people have different feelings about what is going on. Perfect opportunity to love one another and not judge one another.
2 Kings 19:30-31 – I am really pulling these out of context –
‘The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. ‘For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD will perform this.
Take root downward – take root in our relationship with God. We will not bear fruit upward if we do not take root downward.
Whatever approach we have taken to the pandemic – there have been impacts on our lives – spiritual pressure has come into our lives – and it has been seen in a number of ways. For some it is anger – others, fear, some, suspicion, others, selfishness – and for those of you who don’t think it is you, it is arrogance!
There have been positive things – people who have shown great courage – people who have learned not to judge – those who have acted selflessly.
My final little step here is this – what has happened to all of us- we have become unbalanced. Everyone has swung on the pendulum. It is time for us to rebalance. Spiritually, rebalance.
Most of us have found, throughout the past two years, new avenues of spiritual input – from social media, to the news, to podcasts. There are all kinds of spiritual input into our lives I would bet for most, it is unbalanced – putting too much weight on that. I would encourage each of us to go back to older tried and true spiritual disciplines – ancient spiritual disciplines.
One more example – isolation – has had a massive impact on everyone’s lives – and each person’s comfort levels are different – but each of us needs to find ways to reconnect face to face. However, that is comfortable for you – that is not for us to judge one another, but only ourselves.
In 4 weeks, Lent begins. We will – as we think of taking root downward – start with the recognition of the negative impact this time has had – recognize where you are out of balance, and practice those things to change.
One more thing before the nuts and bolts –
We have added two new board members to the board. Kay Ference, and Robin Horstman – Kay has added some great administrative skills – and Robin is an accountant and serves as our treasurer. But beyond these skills, they are first and foremost people of God, who are filled with wisdom.
In our church structure – we have elders – Dick, Jeff, and I – who have a pastoral responsibility in the church – spiritual oversight.
The Board is not mentioned in the Bible – it is an American, modern, Western thing – to provide an organizational responsibility to the church. The focus is on the nuts and bolts – financial responsibility – legal responsibility – safety – that is why the Board was involved in the decision of the church

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