- Dec 27, 2012
Moving Forward in Our Calling
The start of any new year is the season for making resolutions, fresh starts, and recommitting to the things that are important to us. As we head into 2013 there are some areas that we want to concentrate on to continue to move forward in our calling to see God transform lives in a Christ-centered community.
This past fall we did two things to help us in our commitment to get better at fulfilling our vision. First, we took a fresh look at what the Gospel is. We saw first and foremost the Gospel is the story of Jesus and his righteous reign as our King and Lord. That this King died for us to open the way into his kingdom is a staggering and incomparable display of sacrificial love. Having opened the way into his Kingdom, he invites us to receive forgiveness and become his disciples, forming us into his image and calling us to radically trust him as we participate in his Kingdom work.
Second, we asked you to participate in a Spiritual Life Survey to help us gauge and evaluate how we are doing in our journey to grow in our relationship with Jesus. We had a remarkably high participation rate and we have now received the results of the survey. While we are still sifting through the mountain of data and determining the best ways to use what we have learned, there are a couple of findings from the survey that I want to share with you.
The data is processed in a way that identifies the congregation’s top priorities. The top two are that you want help from our church in “understanding the Bible in depth” and help in “developing a personal relationship with Christ.” Both of these match up with what we already are committed to and where we are focusing our attention as we plan for this next season of ministry.
The designers of the survey have also developed some descriptive categories based on the data they have gathered from the 1000+ churches that have completed this survey. Our results place us in the category labeled “introverted.” This means that our results indicate that we are a relatively mature church, where we are regularly engaging with Scripture and have a strong acceptance of core Christian beliefs. In their description, for churches like ours “this strong inner commitment to faith does not typically carry over into outward-focused activities like serving those in need or sharing Christianity with non-believers.”
These results are challenging, but also encouraging as they align well with the way God has been leading us. In our Sunday morning services on January 13 I will be sharing more details from the survey and explaining some of the challenges this brings to us as individual followers of Jesus and for us as a church as well.
Let’s be praying that God will use all of this to draw us closer to himself and direct us to the kind of Kingdom impact he is calling us into.
Read January Bell Tower in its entirety.