Mick’s Memo – What’s Next
I hope you were able to attend services last weekend and celebrate the faithfulness of God we have seen for the past 20 years. I also hope you were able to hear Pastor Doug Bullock’s appropriate challenge to us looking ahead. If you missed it, I’d encourage you to go to the website and watch it on the sermon archives.
Doug’s challenge to us all was to “resolve to love the mission and remember the mission is to love”. Resolving to love the mission means we recognize and embrace the value of the mission over other motivations. For CrossRoads to continue serving God’s purposes will involve inconvenience, sacrifice and change. Our personal preferences, comfort with the status quo and distraction toward the many other options available make this hard. As I look back, I also recognize that this has been a strength of this faith community—giving of time, resources and talents. But it also means continually renewing and acting on that commitment which takes endurance.
Through study, prayer and dialogue within our elder and staff leadership teams, I am as convinced as ever that our Mission—“Bringing Christ’s compassion to people at the Crossroads of life” is in full alignment with Jesus’ example and Jesus’ new command—
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are tolove one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34,35 (ESV)
This is far more than “good feelings” or “good thoughts” about someone. This means loving when it’s not natural or easy (in Jesus’ case it meant laying down His life for those who had rejected, abandoned and tortured Him).
We are called to love others this way, individually. We are called to love others this way as a community of believers. “Share the Harvest” is a pertinent example on our immediate horizon. We could find fault with people for not working harder, etc., or we can show the unconditional love of Jesus to neighbors with challenges. As individuals we can contribute funds to purchase meals and then participate in the celebration somehow to show people they are welcome in fellowship. Remote initiatives in Guatemala and through “Operation Christmas Child” extend the boundaries of our love by accepting Jesus’ call to “the ends of the earth”.
In short, I think our “what’s next?” is not so much a radical shift, it is continuing the enduring challenge of loving the way Jesus’ loved—selflessly and sacrificially; reflecting His presence to those around us in need of His love.
This weekend our series “______ Together” is about “Facing Trials” together. We will hear from John M. Kaptan, who was graduating from high school when CCC was launched. John then attended the U.S. Naval Academy and spent time as a Surface Officer on Destroyers (go figure!!!). As many of you know, he and his wife, Tracey, suffered the loss of their son 3 years ago. They have firsthand experience with the benefits and challenges of facing trials together as believers.
You will be blessed, challenged and well informed for how to help and be helped by one another.