Written by Andrew Moroz, D.Min., Teaching and Outreach Pastor
Happy Fourth of July!
Fourth of July is a celebration of freedom and democracy. But with freedom comes great responsibility. The freedom that has been given to us (by God) in the United States creates opportunities that many other people around the world do not have. Opportunities to dialogue, to worship, and to share the love of God with others.
The freedom that we are celebrating creates pathways for discipleship, and discipleship is the mission of our church. We exist to glorify God by making disciples who love God, grow in community, and reach out with the love of Christ. Our Sunday morning worship services are designed to help us understand and love God. Our gospel communities and discipleship communities are designed to help us grow in community. Outreach, the final component of our mission, takes on many different forms throughout the year.
Recently God has given us an outreach opportunity in the College Hill community. We are temporarily coming alongside of another church to help care for their aging congregation. Some of our staff members and residents will be taking turns serving at College Hill on Sundays and, in the near future, we hope to invite a larger group of people from GCCR to help with outreach projects in that community. Why? Because we want to see disciples of Jesus Christ made in the College Hill community and we want to see the church of Jesus Christ revitalized.
In Acts 1, some of Jesus’ disciples asked him about the timeline for restoring “the kingdom of Israel.” Jesus responded by pointing them to the Great Commission, “You will receive power…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).” Sometimes, like the disciples, we get busy building our kingdom – for them, it was the kingdom of Israel; for us, it can be the kingdom of “self” or the kingdom of Gospel Community. But God has a bigger plan for us; his mission is bigger than our individual kingdoms. We must hold loosely to what we have been given and carefully steward it for the benefit of disciple making in our community and around the globe.
Let’s thank God for our nation and let’s thank him for all of the opportunities that he has given to our church. Please pray with me for all of our partners and outreach ministries and, whenever possible, actively join the mission!