Sean Roberds | Oct 12, 2019
The Journey Together
On our deacon retreat last weekend we spent time exploring the spiritual life and thinking about how our individual spiritual journeys are connected to the community and work of the church. We looked at spiritual formation as a Journey Inward, a Journey Outward and a Journey Together. The Inward Journey is following Christ through on-going practices such as prayer, silence, scripture reading and study. The Outward Journey is our discovery of calling and how we work with the greater church to live out the mission of God. What we discovered is that the Journey Inward and the Journey Outward are made possible by the Journey Together. We need each other to live into the life Jesus has called us to live. Together we teach each other about spiritual practices and hold each other accountable in the practices that draw us closer to God. It is through the community of the church being together that we each discover our calling and place to serve the world. When we stay connected to a community of faith we have a support group to help us discern our calling, stay focused on our calling and encouraged to continue the sometimes-hard work of our calling. God puts us together as the church because when we are committed to each other we are far more successful on the Journey Inward, on the Journey Outward and therefore much more efficacious in working with Christ to redeem the world.
This is something for our entire church to give thought to. How are we as a church encouraging and equipping people for the Journey Inward, the Journey Outward and the Journey Together? We believe that our vision as a church is to “Be the presence of Christ by sharing the love of God one person at a time”. I believe we can understand what the presence of Christ looks like through an Inward Journey. We can only share the love of God one person at a time through an Outward Journey. At First Baptist, we talk about Developing Spiritually, which could be seen as the Inward Journey. We talk about Deploying as Servants, which could be understood as the Outward Journey. We encourage the church to Dedicate to Fellowship, which might be the Journey Together. So, we have the vision statement and we have a structure to follow, but is our structure really leading our people to the Journey Inward, Outward and Together? How well is it working? What about our structures or ministries help people on the Journey Inward, Outward and Together? What changes should be made to these structures or ministries to strengthen people’s journeys? Are there new ministries needed to help develop functioning structures that will help us on the Journeys Inward, Outward and Together? We get together for worship and other fellowship but are our gatherings helping us on the deeper journeys? How do we change it? Will you pray with me about all of this?