Our Purpose. Our Pathway. By Pastor Tom Stoebig
Purpose and Pathway...These are two words I have spent much time pondering during the last two months. As part of the Refocus2019 initiative, these two words have become a focus in my thinking, my pondering, and my praying. I have spent much time in prayer and conversation with members, staff, and Board members of Beautiful Savior as I have sought their opinions. I also have engaged in conversation with trusted colleagues in the ministry of the church who could provide me with unbiased feedback about where the focus should be in the next season of our life together at Beautiful Savior. This process has been going on for many months now. I keep coming back to these words—Purpose and Pathway! As I invite you into further conversation, let me tell you what these words mean and why they are important.
First, the purpose of Beautiful Savior is a phrase which we have used for quite some time now: “Connecting people with God’s love and helping them live as committed followers of Christ.” That’s a good purpose for two reasons: 1) It is biblical and Gospel-centered, and 2) It can never be completed. By that I mean the people of Beautiful Savior will never be able to say there are no more people who can be connected with God’s love and helped to live as committed followers of Christ. That is, until the new heaven and new earth are a reality and we are in the eternal presence of our Triune God forever.
Second, the discipleship pathway is how we seek to carry out the purpose of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church. This has been a challenge for us. The pathway consists of three simple concepts: Worship. Grow. Make A Difference
When put into action, they define how Beautiful Savior accomplishes its purpose as a church. Here are the definitions that define the pathway for each of us individually and collectively:
WORSHIP: Connect to God through weekly worship and daily devotions
GROW: Grow in faith together in a Bible study or group
MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Love and serve others where God is sending you
This is a new way for us to describe the discipleship pathway. It is designed to connect us with God’s love and help us live as committed followers of Christ. It needs to guide us in setting priorities and plans for the present and for the future. It needs to be used in shaping our prayer life together. It needs to be used in setting our budget priorities, which includes our staffing and programming priorities. This pathway will help us to focus on Who, and what, is important in our life together and in our witness to the community and the world.
God will do great things as we follow the purpose and the discipleship pathway together. I invite you to join me and the staff in conversation about them and in living into them. May our Beautiful Savior continue to guide us and direct us today and into the future!