Saturday, April 5, 2014

Desktop Article for the Mt. Pleasant Newsletter April 6, 2014

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
(2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)
            I was in a meeting the other day when the subject of mission and vision statements came up.  In that context, I had the occasion to reflect on our own vision statement that is printed every week at the top left hand side of our bulletins: “Changing Lives Through the Power of Jesus Christ”.  One of the threads of conversation that went around the room was how many of the people in any given church can recite their vision statement, or tell someone what it means.  One of the keys to be able to do that is for that statement to be concise enough for it to be remembered, and kept in front of those that are guided by it.
            When held to that standard, I believe our vision statement works well.  I do wonder, though, if we are familiar with this reappearing line in our bulletin, and if it truly guides anything, let alone everything that we do as a congregation.  I was not here as pastor when the statement was developed, but I can imagine that perhaps this verse from 2 Corinthians 3 may have been part of the inspiration for it, or another passage like it, but the statement has strong biblical support.
            I would be interested in talking with anyone who was involved in the process of developing that statement as to what Scriptures prompted this statement, and what conversations went into producing the final product.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the statement, and do not wish to change it, but I want to help us as a congregation live in to this powerful goal. 
            Truly, the evidence of a person’s relationship with Christ is a changed life.  Paul also wrote in a later chapter in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  In Romans, Paul writes about our very nature being changed so that we are no longer slaves to sin, but become bondservants of Jesus Christ, so transformation is at the heart of what needs to be taking place in all of us here at Mt. Pleasant, as none of us are finished products as of yet.
            I would invite you to join me in prayerfully asking God to help us see how He is calling us to be a part of His work, to be “Changing Lives Through the Power of Jesus Christ”.  If our best days are still ahead of us, and I believe that they very well may be, how will we live into this statement?
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen