Where do we go from here?
I asked that question in a sermon a couple of weeks ago. As a church, coming out of, or learning to deal with, a global pandemic the last 2 years --- what is our next step? It is a good question.
This month we celebrate Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples as they gathered in Jerusalem. It created quite a stir. It was from Jerusalem that the early church spread. But it was not until AD 70 and the Roman destruction of the Jerusalem Temple that the church really spread. Christians fled to every major city in the region and brought the gospel of Jesus Christ with them.
We have not suffered persecution, but we did suffer a pandemic. It forced us to make some changes that we would not have made otherwise. It forced us out of our buildings for a while and onto the internet. It forced us to realize, once again, that the church is not a building. Which brings us back to the question: Where do we go from here?
But maybe before we decide where to go from here, we should make sure that we are prepared to travel.
You don’t head out on a trip and then check how much is in your bank account. You don’t drive a few hours and then look in your wallet to see if you remembered your credit card. That is poor planning, and not good stewardship.
Members of this congregation have always been generous givers, even during the last 24 months. Unlike many churches, we have not “gone into the red”. We have been in good shape financially. We need to make sure that we stay that way.
Back in May some members of the council met with Beth Adams, the Gift Planner for the ELCA Foundation. She has a wealth of information. As a council and a congregation, we have some work to do. We need a “Gift Acceptance Policy” in place. We need an endowment committee! We need to remember the spiritual discipline of tithing. (giving away 10% of your income) We all have work to do.
Lutheran Church of the Master is doing better financially than most congregations of the ELCA. So, the work won’t be difficult, but we need to do it. The Holy Spirit will guide us in our next step. Let’s be ready.
Pr. Bob Albing