My Church, Your Church, God’s Church
A notable characteristic of churches in plateau or decline is the loss of ownership in and energy for the Gospel mission of the church. This is often paired with a loss of connection to the mission field we serve. Statistics show clear evidence of an inability of Christians today to engage the culture around us. We want to be among those churches which foster real spiritual growth, and which regularly see conversions to Christ, but we often fail to have any meaningful relationships with those outside the church. We don’t understand them, and we can’t communicate with them.
In this year’s J-Term, we will equip our pastors and leaders to bridge this gap in order that they might move their churches from a MY CHURCH perspective (inward- and maintenance-focused) to an OUR CHURCH perspective (outward- and mission-minded). At the same time, we aim to help them understand why some people in our culture view the church as YOUR CHURCH (not a place they are welcome) and what it might take for all of us to find our identity and mission in GOD’S CHURCH.
Presentations at this year’s J-Term will begin with an overview of our own CLB history as a disciple-making movement and how a passion for evangelism to lost souls has fueled our church for over 100 years. As we gain a greater sense of God’s work in and through our family of churches, we hope to instill a stronger sense of our theological and missional identity. This, then, will be directed toward an opportunity to learn about the people groups most prevalent and most unreached in our communities: millennials, young families, and immigrants.
The Church of the Lutheran Brethren is a disciple-making movement driven by a passion to see people come to faith in Jesus Christ. This year’s J-Term is aimed at fueling that passion.