Church Innovations’ Partners Post

November 16, 2009

Discerning our Call, Living our Shared Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — ptellison @ 10:57 am

What is your job? Your calling? Your life? What has God equipped you for – whom has God set within your reach for you to learn from and be partners with? This is a set of individualized questions for you.  But it is also a set of local church questions for your congregation.


When the pressure is on, from a tight economy or from other circumstances in or beyond our control, it’s natural to pull back, close ranks, not think expansively.  Our Bremer partners might do that very thing in these challenging times. Except they’re not doing it. They’re looking at tough questions, at building new habits, at inviting people in whom they’ve never imagined coming, at working on an equal footing with people who appear to have next-to-nothing to give, except that’s not true.


Will it cost them? Yes.  But THAT may be their calling.  Will it tax their patience? Yes. But THAT may be their calling.  Will it enrich them?  Yes, but they may have to count riches in a different way, and THAT may be their calling. 

Here is the Dwelling Text we use with our Bremer partners:

Philippians 1:27, 2:5-11 (NRSV)

1:27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel…

2:5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,  6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,  7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.  9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,  10 So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


How do we live our life, our shared collective life, in a manner worthy of the Gospel? The you words in Paul are plural. They’re not about single persons but about the community of believers. They behave, they live together in a manner that honors all the gifts and uses them for the glory of God to serve and free others.  Our Bremer project partners are already thinking about how they live their congregation’s life, a life in an earthly community and simultaneously a life within the very life of God.  What is their calling? How will they discover it?  Claim it? Be it?


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