Sunday, November 10, 2013

Your Church Staff

NOTE: This is from our 2012 staff retreat, and so is missing several of our valuable current staff members:  Lee Busey; Rob Frank; Leanna Wilson; Barbara Stanley; and Nicole Taylor
“The gifts he gave were… to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith… to maturity, …to the full stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
The first part of this week (Nov. 10-13), your church staff will be away on a retreat at Camp Glisson, our United Methodist youth camp in Dahlonega, GA.  While there, we’ll not only be inviting God to renew our passion and calling for ministry, but to become better equipped ourselves so we can help you (our members and friends) to answer and fulfill your calling for ministry, too.

In case you weren’t aware, our Staff Mission Statement accurately describes how we seek to carry that purpose out as we attempt to fulfill the words of the scripture above from Ephesians 4.  It’s our “reason for being”, if you will:  we as your church staff exist… “To glorify God together by Empowering and Encouraging East Cobb UMC members and leaders to be God’s Church in our world.” 

Let me remind us all of what these phrases mean for each and every church member and friend:

· To Glorify God means that we view our work not primarily as a “job” that has set hours and boundaries, but first and foremost as a “calling” and as a “ministry” that gives us opportunities to glorify God through what we do.  It means that we will be responsible to attend to our own spiritual walk with God, and that the ministry of “glorifying God” will at times be more important than individual tasks we may do.  It means we will work to identify our own spiritual gifts, passions and abilities, and will place a priority on cultivating and developing these.

· Together refers to “teamwork” — it means we believe our calling and ministry can best be achieved as we work together as a “team,” rather than merely as a collection of individuals who happen to work in the same organization.

· Empowering refers to equipping, training, educating and commissioning others with the
       spiritual authority to act.
· Encouraging refers to affirming other leaders/members in their work, helping them to
     embrace a “teachable spirit” (a willingness to grow/improve), and helping them to
     critically evaluate progress towards specific goals.

· To be God’s Church means that we believe that all of us as  church members and leaders (not just “church staff”) are “God’s Church.”  It refers to the fact that we are “God’s” church, not “our” church (hence God’s plans and visions need to take priority over our own self selfish wants)

· In the World means we are to be “God’s Church” not merely within the walls of our
     building, but within our local and world community — it refers to the fact that if we expect
    church members and leaders to do ministry “outside the walls,” then we as staff must do
    this, as well.
So, our prayer as your staff is that as we work to carry out our mission as God’s church, we’ll all remember these as we partner together – staff and members, guests and friends, clergy and laity -- to be the church of Jesus Christ in our community and world. Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Rev Brian...I moved to Smyrna in August and I haven't been to a church that has loved on my family. My husband is disabled which is very hard on me, especially around the holidays. We're empty nesters and my greatest love would be to meet loving people in a Godly based church. I came across your blog thru "The Bible" app and I would love to visit. When do you meet on Sundays? I loved your part where you said "to Glorify God that we view our work not just as a job..." My dad was a Pastor while I was growing up and quite famous through out my later life, right now I feel empty, not spiritually, but emotionally, I'm just hurting. Thank you Rev. Brian...hope to be able to see you Sunday Nov 17...