This post is from an email that I sent out in May as we prepared for Pentecost. But this message is appropriate any time, including now as we prepare for Rally Day and our annual giving campaign. I invite you to read, consider, and comment.
Loren B. Mead, in his book, Transforming Congregations for the Future, describes the Church as having four essential, traditional functions: Koinonia (community), Kerygma (proclamation), Didache (spiritual teaching/formation), and Diakonia (service to others). I have been thinking about these four functions and have these thoughts to share:
Community – To be a Christian community is to practice Christian virtues with one another. We are called to love and forgive, to be gentle in our speech and honest in our conversations. We are to rejoice when another is honored and grieve with those who grieve. We are to use our gifts to build Trinity up and enable her to be a faithful community of Faith. We are to meet on Sundays to celebrate the Easter reality and to share in the Holy Eucharist. We live as we were first created to live: united to God our creator with Christ Jesus our leader and guide. We are one with the Father and Son through the presence of the Holy Spirit in and among us.
Proclamation – Each member is called to share the Good News of Christ in their day-to-day world, and enable the Church to communicate clearly and effectively the truth of Jesus Christ to the community around us. We are to be articulate Christians calling others to discover the faith that is life affirming. We trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit in sharing our faith with others.
Spiritual teaching/formation – In order to be articulate we must be literate. We must, as a Church, provide opportunities for each person to learn the Faith, our Tradition endeavoring to grow deeper into the knowledge and love of Christ. It is not enough to know the Bible, or to know about God… we must come to know Christ in the very depths of our heart, body, mind and soul. We embrace the life of the Holy Spirit to bring us into union with God, the Father.
Service to others – We are called a life of service. To meet the needs of the poor, the hungry, homeless, and grieving is a major focus of our servanthood. We must visit the hospitals and the jails. We must provide from our abundance to those who have little… or nothing. We are to serve each other with a spirit of love and humility. We are servants of Christ called to serve Him and one another.
So, how are we doing? How well do you participate in these areas at Trinity? How might you grow and enhance your faith and practice? How can we enable others to grow and mature in their faith and ministry?
Look again at the four functions. I am sure you play a part in at least one of these. Is there something you can do in another that will build upon your own faith and increase the faith of your brothers and sisters?