In early March the elders and deacons gathered for a day long retreat focused on prayer and processing the question of how can we be a church that is strong in both discipleship and evangelism, a place where we have great community together as God’s people and where we pursue the call of the great commission. We want to be a bi-focal church; i.e. we want to see both near and far. We want to see the things that are right in front of us, as well as those things that are currently beyond our purview. It was a good discussion; a challenging discussion. In each area there are things that we do well and ways that we can grow. But for all, the desire to be the bi-focal church was strong.
As we continue forward we are getting more comfortable with our new bi-focal prescription. We are learning to see our our life together through this dual lens. It is through this lens that I get really excited about the Bones camp this coming week. Here we have an opportunity to take the living, breathing Word of God and bring it into the lives of our young people in a powerful way. We believe that they will have a life long benefit from their exposure to the Book of Ezekiel. At the same time we can invite others in and welcome them in the name of the Lord. We can engage them with the same truths and invite them to believe this life changing gospel and belong to the community that God is building in us.
As we seek to wear these lenses, we recognize that we are striving to see like the Savior who saw those near and those far:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility …. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. Ephesians 2:13–21