The Vision Project: What do our strategies mean?

In this third communication about The Vision Project: Belong, Become, Beyond, we answer another important question: What do our two new strategies mean?

The first focuses on the people of Erin and our relationship with God and one another:

STRATEGY 1: Instilling in Erin’s members & friends, as seekers together, a true understanding of and subsequent active commitment to what it means to be and to live as Christ’s disciple.

What is a disciple? Jesus himself answers this question. Over and over, after teaching the crowds who followed Him, he tells them that if they really want to be His disciples, they will do what he says. Knowing and believing the right things are not enough; the test of a disciple is in living as Jesus lived, loving people as He loved them, and obeying what He taught.

How can we do that? First, it takes commitment. If someone asks whether you’re learning to play the flute, you either are or you aren’t. If you are, you own a flute and you’ve signed up for lessons. You’ve made a commitment. It takes action, too. You can’t learn to play if you don’t attend the lessons or pick up the instrument. Becoming a disciple is the same. You have to decide you want to, and then you take steps that lead you in discipleship. Beginning in August you’ll have opportunities to learn more about becoming Christ’s disciple, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, and you’ll hear more on that in the coming weeks. But the goal is to shape your life around Jesus’s teachings, learn to hear God’s calling, and act on what He says.

The second strategy focuses on our role in the community and how we relate to people around us:

STRATEGY 2: Sharing with the community the ministries that God has called Erin to as a body of believers & living as disciples of Christ in all aspects of our individual & diverse lives so that others see Jesus in us.

For years American churches could count on people showing up on Sunday mornings, and even on Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights. Most people went to church. But that’s no longer the case. To reach the people around us who need to know that there is a God and that He loves them, we have to go where they are. Catchier ads, flashier programs, and jazzier music won’t attract people who see no need for church.

Surveys show two things will get their attention:

  • getting to know people whose faith makes a real difference in how they think, feel, and act, and realizing these people are different in positive ways precisely because of their faith
  • expressing God’s love by serving them. Do they have basic needs such as food or shelter, or do they just need to know someone cares?

Finding out what people need, then finding ways to meet their needs in God’s name shows them that they matter to God, and that God matters to us. This is how Erin can grow and carry out God’s purpose.

To learn more, check out the newest presentation: What do our strategies mean? If you haven’t taken a look at the first two presentations, we encourage you to do so. We also invite you to join us on a couple of Sunday mornings before church to find out more and ask questions. If you missed the first discussion on June 9, we’ll offer it again on June 30. The second session will be offered Sunday, July 21 and again on August 4. We hope you’ll join us from 9:30 to 10:45 in the fellowship hall for coffee and tea, muffins, and conversation about what we’re doing and why, and how you fit in.

In Christ’s love,

Your Pastor, Staff, and Session