I have the privilege of joining in with a team that has been put together of people from the 3 different churches that I am serving now. This teams task (if we must call it that) is to research and learn about discipleship in the church towards helping our 3 churches (that together are called Thrive Ministries) to ultimately become a church that disciples people who disciple others!! I truly believe it is a privilege even though the work that is before us can be daunting… especially not knowing what we eventually will be asking the church to do will be received.
The privilege of doing this seems to be (and needs to be) is a changing thing in the process. Right now I believe God gave us a reminder of the privilege of doing this together that especially emerged from our last meeting (which is only our third time together as a team). I don’t know if it was because we are on the heels of celebrating that wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving again… and we did have turkey together for our meal at the end of our meeting??!! But God gave us a moment at the end of our meeting where each of us had a chance to speak into how we were feeling about the process.
The answers were transparent and real… they were about the unknown but tinged with a wonderful feeling of hopefulness in what God is up to!! This was a wonderful reminder of our life together as Christ followers. We were transported back to Jesus and His time with the apostles and a little bit of what it must have felt like to be following Him into the unknown… but yet tinged (maybe more than tinged) with that hope of where they were being led!!
Today as I think about preparing for Thanksgiving (and yes that includes how to make the turkey) I am reminded through that group of people and the process of encouraging our church to own and become a discipling church (something that seemed like a daunting task to the majority of the group) about truly living lives of thankfulness as His followers. I am thankful for the people who I get to do this with, and for wading into the unknown together as we follow our savior. It is the kind of freedom that is truly free!! and we don’t have to take the pressure on that could so easily become the driving force. Instead as we move together in this we are actually in that process of being developed and grown (which is the discipleship process!!)
It reminds me of what Larry Crabb wrote in his book The Pressure’s Off at the end of a chapter about how God is with us…
“We’ve been released from the obligation to do what we should to get what we want”
We will be joining together with family and friends on this Thanksgiving and certainly recounting our numerous blessings. As we do so I hope you will join in with me in remembering the freedom we can live in because God is with us!!