OVER THE COURSE OF MY LIFE, I have learned that the people who seem the most selfish also happen to be the most unhappy. Conversely, the folks that I know to be genuinely happy are the ones who most keenly look out for others. I have observed the same to be true for congregations as well. Congregations that are concerned most for their own needs are often unhappy places, while those engaged with their neighbors near and far tend to be more joyful.
Jesus lived this truth himself. Wherever he went, he was continually engaged with those around him and, as a result, knew what needs were present. Examples are easy to find: a blind man on the side of the road, 5,000 (or more) hungry people, a woman hemorrhaging, a sick child, grieving sisters of a deceased brother, just to name a few. To paraphrase John 3:16 we might say, “For God so loved the world that he gave us his son so that he might be fully engaged in the world.”
As the Director of Mission Engagement for the Board of World Mission, it is my honor to help congregations to be more engaged with and in mission to the world around them. In
the past year, it has been my pleasure to be able to preach at mission emphasis Sundays in congregations such as Cannan, Central, Home, Raleigh, Newfoundland, Watertown, Wisconsin Rapids, and Calvary (Allentown). It has been a joy to help lead programming at Mission Camp at Laurel Ridge, lead the program on the history of Moravian Missions at the Young Adult Convo in St. Thomas and St. John, and to provide the program for the Union Cross congregation at its annual retreat. I have done training for groups about to set out on mission trips to places such as Honduras, Tortola, St. Thomas, St. John and Nepal. I have seen a lot of joy AND a lot of passion!
As your congregation seeks to be more joyfully engaged in your local or global neighborhood, how can I help you?