Reflections on how Christians help each other to grow and mature in loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wednesday in Holy Week

Wednesday in Holy Week

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be
whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept
joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the
glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our
Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Is your congregation Christ-centered? Or, would you say that it is Church-centered, program-centered, or pastor-centered?

One way you can tell is to look at the total ministry of your congregation and then ask, “Is discipleship an expectation an option?”

When congregations focus their resources and energy into faithful discipleship they become Christ-centered, sign-communities for the coming reign of God. Such congregations are interested in forming members into faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who witness to him in the world and follow his teachings through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

As we remember what God has done for the world in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in this Holy Week, let’s think about what kind of church we are and are becoming? Are we Christ-centered sign-communities of the coming reign of God? Or are we a church-centered social club with a veneer of religion? Or are we a program-centered congregation that offers lots of great Bible studies, discussion groups, etc. in which discipleship is one option among many?

As we reflect upon the cross of Christ this week, ask, “Is all that we do and value in my congregation worth the death of God’s son?”

Steve Manskar


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