That’s my word for 2015, at least in terms of my pastoral role.
I hope to pray about ownership.
I hope to model ownership (the cancer battle notwithstanding).
I hope to preach on ownership.
I hope to exhort about ownership.
I hope to counsel about ownership.
I hope to rebuke (in love, of course) when I encounter lack of ownership.
I hope to disciple in ownership.
I hope to teach about ownership.
In short, I hope to eat, drink, and sleep ownership as a covenant member of a local church AND challenge others do the same.
Why wave the banner of OWNERSHIP over Orlando Grace in the New Year? Does a text like Acts 2:42-47 suggest we should do anything less?
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
I doubt the church of Jesus Christ has seen since any greater demonstration of ownership to her mission than it did in those early New Testament days. Notice the word “devoted.” Literally it means “to be strong toward.” These folks had a passion for certain things that drew them together. Teaching, fellowship, worship, hospitality, generosity. They constantly flexed their spiritual muscles in these virtues of community. The impact in the city of Jerusalem was so profound that God did the adding of souls to His church through their what? Ownership.
Tomorrow begins another year of ministry at Orlando Grace Church. Will we as covenant members “own” our community like never before? I pray we will. We can start by those who are able joining the prayer team at 8:30 AM in the conference room. We can continue by jamming the three new equipping hour electives (spiritual disciplines, resolving everyday conflict, and systematic theology I) at 9:30 AM. And we can peak with spirit and truth worship and praise at 10:45. We can overflow by taking lunch together, including invitations to new people God brings our way.
Let 2015 be a year of ownership like never before for our joy and His glory.