Summer went quickly and the work ahead feels overwhelming. In the past week, I have spoken to movement leaders in The US and in Australia, in Wales and in England, who are telling the story of Pastor/Leaders who are deeply tired as a result of facing COVID, political upheaval, and racial tensions. The uncertainty of whether people will return to our gatherings at church, or what that should even look like, is daunting.
These things are daunting, yet do we not have hope? God is sovereign and on His throne. His mercies are new every morning. He is always faithful to His promises. He will never leave us or forsake us. Nothing can snatch us from His hands. He gives us the strength to face all that comes our way. His Kingdom will never end. We are his – the sheep of His pasture. We have been bought at a price. This is Good News. God is at work in the world.
We face issues at many levels in the Church, yet we have been given the privilege of joining God in the work He is doing. We get on our knees and pray. We put our shoulders to the plough and participate. We open our eyes and ears to see where God is at work and to hear what He is saying. We think through responses to the world around us. We do not sit on the sidelines.
Some of our people are asking for familiarity and a return to “what was.” Others do not want to go back but seize the opportunity. Many in ministry have been trained for a style of ministry that is no longer bearing the results that perhaps it did even a generation ago. So now what?
This week, I heard my uncle [Alan Roxburgh] using a metaphor from the Governor of New Jersey. As a result of the loss of life and property through Hurricane Ida, the Governor stated that the much-criticized sewer system had worked and done what it was designed to do. The problem was that it was designed 100 years ago. It was sufficient for “that world,” but not our present reality. New Jersey needed a new sewer system to attend to the present context and for years to come.
Is this not a great metaphor for the Church today?
Forge Canada (and Global) is leaning into this issue. What will it take to listen to the Spirit as He designs a Church that is able to speak into today’s context? It must be a church that does not capitulate on theological convictions but is open to what the Spirit is doing in calling us back into our neighbourhoods to be signs, servants and a foretaste of the Kingdom of God. For some, this will mean a radical restructuring of what currently exists. For others, it will mean a chance to start over and to launch missional communities in our neighbourhoods. Forge wants to be a resource to and a network with those who sense this is what the Spirit is up to.
We have hope. We set our eyes on Christ. We work to Join Him at work in the world.
For Christ and His Kingdom,