It’s been a while since I said anything about our situation here in Jackson. I really am excited about some of the things that are happening. When I arrived, there seemed to be a lot of spiritual disappointment among those in the congregation. That seems to be changing. The sentiment was that the church should merge with our sister church across town. That may still happen, but there is now a willingness to persevere to see if the Lord would have us continue on alone. We even had a consultant come in and do an assessment of the church. His advice was to work towards merging. Yet, we know that once that takes place, the congregation cannot continue to seek God’s will. If we merge, effectively, the congregation of Grace ceases to exist.
The difference now is that members of the leadership are beginning to focus on Kingdom growth, as opposed to church growth. This means that we are focusing on what we can do for the King and His Kingdom, instead of what we can do for ourselves. We do not need to worry about our congregation. Yes, it is small, but the Lord is mighty. In view of that, our goal is now: “how can we serve Him?“
Any church that desires to be healthy, must make this shift in their view and understand of service. We are not placed on this earth to see what we can get out of it, but to serve the King. The results of our service are His work, not ours. (So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.) Yes, we do want to see our congregation grow. I’m not saying that desire is not there. But our greater desire is to serve the King and be faithful to Him.
In view of that, we have started asking what it is that we can do. What is our reputation in the community, is one way we began to think about this? Do we want to be seen as simply a Reformed Presbyterian outpost, or a church that is here to serve?
One way that I think we will end up serving the community is by providing land for community gardens. Our property is about 9 acres, and most of it is grass. While I love long stretches of green grass (known as a golf course), I think the best use of our land is helping those who want to grow their own food. I know if we go this route, you can count on yours truly planting one of the gardens for my family. We also want to teach those who take advantage of our land how to can their veggies in the fall. We have other ideas for helping the community to, but this seems to be the one at the forefront of our desires.
I’m hoping that we help the community in this way, and in so many other ways. It’s a delight to think of all the possibilities. May His Kingdom truly grow through us as we serve Him. How are you serving the King today?