I pray that this Lent has been one of you growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ. If it has not been such a time, then do let me know what has kept you from growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The church is here to make disciples of Jesus Christ. So, let us be about that business!
For two consecutive Sunday’s, April 26th and May 3rd, we will be having what the Church Council is calling “Vision Picnics.” At 5 PM on these Sunday’s we will bring desserts to share as the church provides hamburgers, hot dogs, and fixings. We will have Child Care, rain or shine.
How does God want us to be church as we live in the years ahead? An idea of how we are to be that the entire church can buy into may come from an unlikely source within the church. I know full well that God can and does speak to individuals in a church so that the entire church lives what an individual hears. So, I am praying that as we gather to eat, have fun, and discern our future that God will give us an idea how we are to be Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church for the next several years. Then as our community and church changes, as both will over time, God will reveal another vision at the right time.
Now, a vision for the church is not its mission. Our mission, as a United Methodist Church and as a part of the universal Body of Christ, is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In other words, this church and every other congregation have the same mission!
A vision comes from several sources. First, the Bible speaks in many places about how God’s people are to live in this world. Several of these Scriptures include Leviticus 19, Micah 6:6-8, Isaiah 58, Matthew 25:31-46, Matthew 28:16-20, John 13:1-35, Acts 2, and Revelation 1-3. These parts of the Bible help us answer these questions: How then shall we be faithful to God as a church? What work is God calling us to do that our community needs?
A second source of a vision is our history. We know that in the 1920’s there were several prayer groups in the Cranberry section of Carroll County that gave rise to Mt. Olivet Methodist Church. We also know that after the move to our current location, Prayer and Share groups strengthen individuals in the Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church and were a great witness to the faith of this church. Something of this past will be part of our future as we continue live our faith in Jesus Christ.
Everything about the future of this church will be on the table. That is to say where we see need for a ministry to start that will help us fulfill the vision, we will start that ministry and put the resources of the church behind it. If we discover a current ministry that does not help us live the new vision, then we would want to stop that ministry and direct the resources of the church, the funds and the people, towards living towards the new vision.
I find that this idea of searching the Bible and speaking with God about a vision is exciting! I hope that you spend the next month studying the passages that I have mentioned above. For from those passages and our history, we will discover the vision that God has for us!
In Christ’s Service,