Earlier today, after my workout at 'The W' (notice how I snuck that in), I realized that I didn't have anything pressing to do. Seeing as I have been on the run a lot lately I decided it was about time to do some cleaning. The kitchen floor was my first stop, it had been neglected for way too long.
When I was a kid I remember being assigned the duty of scrubbing the bath room floor. It was only after I was done that I learned that my mom had hidden some coins here and there to see if I had done the whole thing correctly. I think I found most of them, and it's a lesson I haven't forgotten.
Once I got down on my hands and knees I got to see the floor in a whole new way. I noticed things that I hadn't seen before. I bump around the island, a crack where the vinyl transitions into the dining room and a scratch in front of the stove. I doubt I would have noticed any of these things if I hadn't been down on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor.
These little imperfections aren't serious, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on as decisions are made about the proper care and upkeep of the parsonage.
I didn't think much more about my morning activities until I sat down to catch up on email and "Stirrings" our Iowa Annual Conference's weekly email popped up. Our Leadership Development Minster for Evangelism and New Ministry, Scott Hibben, wrote a headline that caught my eye; "It’s easier to give birth than to raise the dead."
Scott unpacks this oft quoted comment about how a new church start is easier than revitalizing an existing church. Out of his own experience Scott reminds his readers that both are hard work and each reality faces its own 'toughness'. You may read the whole article here.
Bottom line, Scott is calling our United Methodist churches to do the hard work of evaluating our faith communities. He calls both new plants and long established churches, to approach the future intent on really and truly 'making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.' To assist us in making this assessment we need to ask ourselves three questions; "do you have a clear, simple, memorable pathway for making disciples? Are you making disciples? Are you healthy enough to make disciples? If the answer to any of these is 'NO' then you have some work to do."
I went to the gym this morning because I need to get more physically fit. I scrubbed the kitchen floor this morning because I had neglected it's care for too long. I anticipate that tomorrow morning I will be moving a bit more slowly because of the workout that I had today, but if I want to see any results I will return to the gym tomorrow and the day after and the day after that as well.
As I take the three questions posed by Scott to heart I know that discerning the health as well as the mission and vision of Trinity is something that we will do together. That's the beauty of faith communities. We are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2) and we hold the Good News in our hearts; ‘The Word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood’(John 1:4 The Message). How cool is that!
in Christ, together,