1 Corinthians 3:1-17
Pastor Chris Tweitmann
This Sunday, we begin a new sermon series designed both to unveil and unpack the vision for the future of Grace. Over a year ago, what began as a single idea, to relocate our school back to our church campus, has become a broader consideration of the identity and purpose of our community as a whole. We have slowed down to intentionally spend some time listening to and learning from both YOU – the members and friends of Grace and our wider, surrounding neighborhood.
In doing so, the Lord has made it clear that we must not get ahead of ourselves or more importantly, of Him! While we are continuing to explore and assess the possibilities for the vibrant ministry of our school returning to our church campus, this is no longer our immediate or primary focus. Before we commit to any long-term project, we need to be clear and united in our understanding of WHO we are, WHY we are here, WHERE we are being led by the Holy Spirit, and HOW we are to live out that calling.
For the last six months, this has been the work your leadership at Grace has been about. During this time, a missional narrative was being created – a concise but detailed description of our past, present, and perceived future together. This narrative was developed from information gathered from three sources:
All of the information from surveys and one-on-one interviews conducted within our community – both at the Church and at our School in the later part of 2017,
The collective knowledge we gleaned from listening panels conducted with our neighbors during our combined services in the early half of 2018,
Several conversations between the elders and the staff reflecting upon Grace’s history, perceived resources and gifts, and all of the insight we received from the resources listed above in #1 and #2.
Together we will spend this fall hearing and digesting this missional narrative. The goal is for us to learn the language of our mission and internalize it so that this vision becomes conversational and centering for us as we move forward. Wednesday evenings, after our meal together, will be an additional time for us to process this narrative together as a community. I look forward not only to sharing this narrative with you but also hearing your questions, your ideas, and your sense of how the Holy Spirit is speaking through all of this.
It all starts this Sunday as we begin to consider WHO we are. Together we are going to reflect on what it means to be the Church. Why do we exist as Grace? Having more than fifty years of history behind us and looking forward to the future, what, in the midst of it all, really matters? When all is said and done, what endures in all of that time we have been given?
To answer these questions, we are going to eavesdrop on a conversation between the apostle Paul and a dynamic church in Corinth. This community, like ours, needed some direction. There is much for us to take away from what Paul shares with them. Together we are going to receive some valuable reorientation about our identity and our role as the Church. Positioned as we are, on the verge of building something new – of working towards our future as Grace, we also will be reminded of core and timeless truths about not only how we grow but also what we ought to look to harvest. I look forward to beginning this promising, next chapter of Grace’s story with you!
To God be the glory!