A church engaged…
A community healed…
A world transformed…
The three verbs in our new vision statement are so exciting to me; over the course of our visioning process, I heard all kinds of ideas for new activities and ministries that could engage, heal, and even transform us.
So where do we start? I spent a little time in scripture to see how Jesus engaged with and healed people.
Jesus engaged with all kinds of individuals; thanks to Google I learned that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John include more than 40 meetings between Jesus and various people like a Samaritan woman, a crippled beggar, tax collectors, and Pharisees.
Few of these conversations took place in religious settings. Instead, Jesus talked with people where they were most familiar. He asked questions and sought to understand people’s thoughts and feelings. He understood time is required for ideas to percolate and for people to own them before they act on them. Jesus knew how to establish common ground with others, how to take initiative, and how to meet people where they were.
What would it mean for “a church engaged” if we follow Jesus’ example?
We know healing was essential to Jesus’ ministry. He had compassion and would interrupt his plans if someone needing healing. He healed for healing’s sake, not to get something in return. In Luke 14 (12-14), Jesus tells us to invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind to lunch, not our friends or family or rich neighbors who may return the invitation. He shows us that manifesting God’s love and compassion means engaging with and healing those who may not even say, “thank you”.
What would it mean for a “community healed” if we follow Jesus’ example?
Finally, a world transformed. To me this means the future that God wants for us, what He dreams of when He dreams for us, as revealed through scripture. A pastor I once heard spoke of a world transformed in this way:
- Fulfilled longings: that we have a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only God can fill, and we are in right relationship with God to fill that hole
- Healed wounds
- Radiant beauty
- Restored harmony: peace between nations, justice for the poor, the natural world being made whole
What does a “world transformed” look like to you?
How do you hear God calling you to follow Jesus’ example to engage and help heal?
Laura Watson, “Home Is...” Congregational Visioning Team