Wednesday, August 01, 2012

August News from Pisgah UMC

This month Pisgah UMC engaged in one of the most important ministries we do during the year. Nearly 30 volunteer adults and youth participated in leading, teaching, feeding, and mentoring more than 50 children in Vacation Bible School.

I was truly blessed by seeing the community of believers here at Pisgah pitch in together to promote and celebrate the gospel of our Lord with children of all ages. It was a real and tangible sign of the people of God being Jesus to our kids and to kids from our community.

Being relevant as Jesus’ disciples in the world today sometimes means being able to transform and stretch ourselves. We may need to transform an ordinary educational space into an undersea science lab, or an ancient Palestinian sea shore, or a beautiful music and dance workshop. We may need to stretch to design a fun and relevant environment for kids to learn, play, sing, dance and worship God.

The main goal for VBS this year was to create a space which would allow children to experience Christian values, teachings and people who are committed to Jesus and whose lives are not bland, dreary or boring. Giving children these kinds of experiences will enable them to learn, grow and depend on Jesus all of their lives.

The mission of a church is vital to all that is done. In every endeavor, every worship service, every meeting, every building project, every fellowship event, every outreach opportunity, the mission must be considered. Connecting People to Christ is our mission.

Being relevant to contemporary people is also vital to reaching them for Christ. This past month you have likely noticed that we have placed a video projector in the sanctuary worship space. Some of you may be concerned about this new technology. People have often thought that such technology can have a negative impact on worship, taking attention away from God, preaching or the sanctity of the space. Another complaint that has been voiced in other churches is that such technology is “capitulating to culture” or “watching movies in church.”

While these are honest complaints, they pale in comparison to the need for updated technology in worship. The reason to use current technology is to connect to contemporary people in a relevant way.

In years past, churches only had outdoor toilets. In that era an indoor toilet was the new “technology.” Some church people refused to put toilets inside, “because they felt it sacrilegious to have toilets in the house of the Lord!” (Hamilton. Unleashing the Word. 45.)

As time and culture change it is vital for the church to change too. Otherwise we will be saying (inadvertently) that we don’t care about reaching contemporary people. 

As we move through the rest of the year, we will be developing our new technology through finding and training folks to run the software and equipment. As we go through this time we will have typos, glitches, flub-ups and failures. So please, I ask you to bear with us as we train and learn. Please offer your suggestions, your solutions, your ideas, and also tell us what you like. You can use the suggestion box in the narthex or send an email to me.

A growing church is never static, but always seeking ways to transform and stretch into what is needed to reach others…especially contemporary people who are desperate for a meaningful relationship with God.

I believe in my heart that Pisgah folks desire to create a place that is inviting and welcoming to contemporary people. I also believe that Pisgah people are anxious to let them know that we care. God calls each of us to Follow Jesus, Make Disciples and Transform the World.  I believe we can follow the calling.

 The    best    is    yet    to    come.


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