I'm in my motel room, caffeinated, fed, showered and dressed for a day of meetings at Mission Springs Bible Camp here in Santa Cruz, California. The Ministerium met yesterday and it was pretty powerful. I have been absent for too many years. I heard testimonies of God's call on the lives of men and women to be ordained and listened to a profound lecture on the in's and out's of pastoral confidentiality.
Last night we gathered in the chapel at Mission Springs for a season (long time) of loud singing led by a very good band. My legs got tired after about 4 songs in a row. I do wonder why we sing so many songs for such a long time? By the time we were done with the song set, I forgot what we sang at the beginning since there was no printed program. It is a different way of worshiping I think; getting the heart stirred by a phrase or two but not language depth. Anyway, I'm trying to learn. Lisa was with me and helps me appreciate that which is newer and unknown.
But the capstone of the evening was Gary Walters, President of the ECC. I wrote some notes on my iPhone to capture the essence of what he said:
"To be missional is to follow the heart of God into the world."
God wants us to say the three things to the world that he says:
1. "I know you"
2. "I love you"
3. "You were meant for this"
Gary challenged us with three questions from the three statements above:
1. In following God into the world, how are you using the three statements above?
2. In following God into the world, will you go beyond where you are comfortable to places where you are uncomfortable?
3. Will you go beyond speaking about the love of God into living it?
Gary's vision for the ECC is:
More disciples among more populations in a more just and caring world.
What impressed me is the echo in my heart as he spoke. At MCC, this is what is happening in so many ways and places, principally through the initiatives of Jon Lemmond and the Pastor for Gospel Action and Lisa Holmlund in her leadership of mission trips focussing on Compassion, Mercy and Justice. MCC is trying to follow God into the world in which we live. We are not doing it perfectly yet, but making exciting inroads, partnering with those engaged in ministries and discovering new and emerging ministries and missions here and globally.