“Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19a)
I suspect some among us, when they read that verse from Matthew, think not only of making disciples of all nations but also about making disciples of members of our congregation. And, as hard as it is for me to understand, I suspect some of us think we have enough members…as it is comfortable here and we know each other’s names. What’s more, I suspect some of us would rather we were most concerned about the health of each other and not so much about our neighbors’ well-being, let alone that of people throughout the world.
Of course, you know as I know that “making disciples” is about reaching within as well as reaching out. Yes, we strive to guide our members to a deeper relationship with God, but at the same time we strive to reach out to new followers of Christ by serving with and for our neighbors.
The question is: just how do we carry out our mission of reaching out? I cannot speak for you, but I believe that Sunday morning worship is our best means of inviting new people to come closer to God. Almost every Sunday it is marvelous to see so many guests…especially those folks who are not Lutheran…in worship here at Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church… people who are not familiar with our worship style, but are willing to join us with enthusiasm.
Each Sunday after worship, almost every guest I visit with speaks positively about how welcome they feel…from the moment they arrive until they depart. And many of these same folks return…even if it is once a year when they are visiting the area…they share that Shepherd of the Mountains is their church home away from home. What a great testimony for your willingness to get to know new faces each Sunday. Thank you.
It has occurred to me that we have opportunities to make disciples of all nations by simply being the people God creates us to be. People who are called by God to be in the mountains for good, centered in the story of Jesus for the sake of the world, through worship, fellowship, and service. Each Sunday we have an opportunity to follow that call by joining with people of many faith traditions as together we proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
I pray we continue to do so with celebration and joy.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve