Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Looking Behind, Thinking Ahead

A few weeks ago, I walked around the neighborhood where I grew up. I also drove by my home church where I not only grew up in, but was also appointed to as one of the pastors for five years.

Some of the really big trees I remember as a kid are no longer there; time has taken its toll. A lot of trees that I remember as saplings are now big trees. Someone bothered to plant them, and now, 40 years later, others are enjoying them. My home church has changed quite a bit: the old youth center is gone, the education building has been razed, and a new building is being erected to replace both. The parsonage that my family and I lived in 13 years ago now houses the church offices.

I have really fond memories of the youth center and educational building at my home church. But I know in my heart of hearts that it was time for a change. More importantly, I know that the Kingdom of God seeks to minister to others that will be here long after I am gone. The new building will reflect the changes needed to minister to people in the 21st century.

In thinking ahead for Reidland UMC, if you’ve noticed, utility companies are moving lines to prepare for the closing of Old Benton Road. Our church has been preparing for a Long-Range Planning/Master Site Plan committee to meet. I think that the time for us to meet is now. We need to not only plan for today, but plan for 10, 20, even 30 years from now. Some of us may not live to see anticipated changes; I for one will be retired in around 20 years. But that does not relieve me of the responsibility to be sure that our church is still making disciples for Jesus Christ years and years from now.

So I’m asking you to pray. Pray about what needs to happen at Reidland UMC. Pray about how we need to reconfigure parking and our preschool playground. Pray about how what kind of ministries and visions we need to be capturing to serve the Reidland community the best. Most of all, please pray about what sacrifices of time, money, talents, and thoughts we need to make in response for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us so that Reidland UMC continues to make disciples for Jesus Christ.


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