“Go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19a
How does one make disciples? Not only of all nations, but, more specifically, of people gathered as Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church? Of course, making authentic Christian disciples is challenging…both in terms of “in-reach” and “out-reach.”
Evangelism is challenging. It moves us from our comfort levels. And evangelism is never a matter of “either-or.” Rather, it consists of both in-reach and out-reach opportunities. Evangelism is always both. Yes, we strive to grow towards a deeper faith commitment among our members, but at the same time we never stop reaching out to bring new people to Christ. It is simply what we are called by God to do.
How do we accomplish this? One way is through Sunday worship. Each Sunday we have the opportunity to reach out to our families, friends, and neighbors and invite them to join with us both in person and on-line. Each Sunday is one of our best opportunities to draw new folks closer to Jesus. Even those who are not familiar with what it means to be a Lutheran can gain a sense of our spiritual vitality, hospitality, and inclusiveness.
Some folks accept our invitation to worship and continue to join with us. Did you notice when we are in our sanctuary that guests often sit near the front pews? Are any of us willing to join with them so close to the altar? I wonder….
Of course, we also reach out to the world with our benevolence dollars. The dollars we give to Shepherd of the Mountains are shared with the Rocky Mountain Synod and are used for Christ’s mission in Utah, the USA, and throughout the world.
Our mission statement says, “We are in the Mountains for Good.” And we are. We are in the mountains for the good of all people, for our communities, and all of creation.
Yes, that means we are willing to be in conversation about even that which may make us least comfortable. These days it may mean conversations about the Covid 19 pandemic or social and racial inequities…or a combination of both. The conversations likely will include in-reach and out-reach opportunities. It will mean deeper commitments with our neighbors. It will mean sharing resources. It will mean sitting close with them.
Let us continue to be faithful Disciples of Christ who reach out to the world, who open our arms as the world reaches to us, who join with our neighbors in Christ’s mission in Christ’s name.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve