by Pastor Kris Gorden
“The gifts Christ gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”—Ephesians 4:11-13
As we move together in community, this is one of my favorite passages about the church. In this letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul paints a fluid picture of the church—many people with many gifts who work together so that all might know the love of Jesus.
We have tremendous gifts and opportunities in this congregation to bring Christ’s love to those who don’t know it, have fallen away from it, or who have only been indifferent toward this transforming love that gives meaning and joy to life. Together we seek the Spirit’s wisdom and guidance as we share God’s grace. Yet there are times the church hasn’t listened very well to those outside the church. In fact, sometimes the church has not moved to share this love with those who don’t know it because we either haven’t known how, or the ways we might do it might interfere with our preconceptions of how to “do” church…you know, the Seven Last Words of the Church—“That’s the way it’s always been done!”
What are the things we do, (or might do), as the church? What are the things we should not do? I found a great list of some things we might not want to do in the church….
5. Never ask an usher to break a $20.
4. Never do a cannonball in the baptismal font.
3. Never hold a church business meeting on Super Bowl Sunday.
2. Never tell the pastor, “We love your church and we might even come back next Easter.”
1. During youth group activities, never bungee jump off the church steeple or play chicken with the church buses.
What are the things we’d never dream about doing? Granted, there are some things we ought not be about as the church; but what are the crazy, outrageous things we thought might never happen—but ideas we should try so that those who need the love of Jesus will experience it? Go ahead and dream.
Our Church Council and staff are working on a strategic plan for Olivet’s future. We build upon the work done last year with our Transition Team. They will be inviting others into conversation as we seek what God has in store for us. By summer’s end, we hope a good and faithful plan will be in place. Two things: 1) Please pray for this process. 2) Continue asking, “What can I do…what should we all do to share this greatest Good News in all the Earth?”
On a staffing note, we welcome Kelly Heyer as our new Director of Communications, and Bev Gravdahl as Communications Assistant. Kelly works flexible hours and occasionally from home, and Bev is in the office, (generally), Mondays, Tuesday afternoons, and Thursdays. We are excited for them to join our team. Welcome!
Blessings to you all as God continues to “build up the body of Christ.”
Pastor Kris Gorden