Blueprint for Ministry
Invite, Connect, Apprentice, Send
Blueprints. When I was 9 years old, my mom and dad put an addition on our house. I will never forget when they rolled out the blueprints and showed us what it was going to look like! It was so much easier to visualize after seeing those blueprints! And, of course, without those blueprints, the builders would have had no directions, no guide, no “map” with respect to what they were doing!
Did you know God is a God of “blueprints?” All one has to do is to look at a living cell or the DNA molecule as well as countless other examples in nature! It even says in the Bible, talking about our lives together as the people of God, that, “God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace.”
Have you ever wondered or struggled with what a life as a disciple of Jesus should look like for you? Have you ever wondered where/how you can live out the calling of Jesus in your life?…Where you “fit in?”…Where/how you can reflect the love and call of Jesus in actions? Or perhaps you are not yet a Christian but are curious about what a life lived as a follower of Jesus might look like and what it might accomplish? Would a blueprint help?
In the next few weeks, we will look at our “Blueprint for Ministry” here at St. Matthew. We will explore how we will organize into Ministry Teams to carry out the vision for mission that Jesus has given us. We will explore what this looks like, what drives us, where this takes us individually and together as followers of Jesus, and what we are trying to accomplish.
As we do this, what we are really seeing is what it looks like to live as followers of Jesus together in this place and how God is calling each of us to be a part of it. As the Bible says, “Now you (you all) are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it!
Sunday June 25 Blueprint for Ministry: Invite
When my dad invited you, you knew you were welcome. Do you know what I mean? Some people are just like that. What comes through is their genuine care and even love for you and their sincere desire that you respond to the invitation. Sometimes with my dad, it was just a sincere desire to have a conversation with one of my friends, who would later tell me how cool my dad was. Other times, it was to join us for dinner or for a Christmas get together (always room for one more) or just to hang out. For my dad inviting was a lifestyle. He was genuine, real, transparent, welcoming, caring, and always had an open and inviting heart toward literally everyone. Looking back, it really is a great way and a rewarding way - to live! Today, we focus on what it means as followers of Jesus in our ministry together to live an inviting lifestyle in Him.
Sunday July 9 Blueprint For Ministry: Connect
Jane and I moved to Indiana to attend the seminary. It was in the Summer and it was 90 degrees and about 90% humidity. The day after I moved us into our apartment, I was on the Seminary grounds and met another guy who with his family was moving into a third floor apartment that day. Lee and I sweat all afternoon together and we got him and his family moved in. But something else happened. We connected. Do you know what I mean? Over the next four years we studied together, we supported each other when our wives had babies, and our families did life together. We remain close to this day even though many miles separate us. Connection is powerful. We were built for it. We experience it as the family of God. And we are called to do everything we can to connect with those around us in this same love of Jesusâ€¦and together, as His people, to do everything we can from the heart to connect with every single person that God, the Holy Spirit, brings into our circle. This is our focus today.
Sunday July 16 Blueprint For Ministry: Apprentice
I had a roommate in college who decided to become an electrician. He went through a two year apprenticeship program, working side by side with an electrician during the day and going to electrician classes at night, again taught by people who were already electricians. This is what it means to be an apprentice. It's kind of like on the job training, working with someone who is already a master in the field. Jesus, THE master, ran an apprenticeship program. He said, Come, follow me and so began the apprenticeship. In fact, it seems to me for us another word for apprentice would be disciple. Jesus was training each of his disciples to be a master in ministry who in turn trained others (apprentices!) to be masters in ministry after them. It is the same for us. Each of us is called to be an apprentice, to be mentored as a disciple and each of us is also called to be a mentor, one who is training an apprentice to take their place in ministry as mentors and leaders themselves. This is our focus today.
Sunday July 23 Blueprint For Ministry: Send
It happens every year in graduation ceremonies across the nation. People are sent out to use what they have learned and who they have become to make a difference in the world! But finally, it is only Jesus who can make a lasting difference an eternal change in our lives and in our world. In one sense, He has already done it as He cries from the cross, It is finished! But in another sense, He is continuing His mission to restore all things which will finally culminate in His second coming. Until that time He sends us out not alone, but with the Holy Spirit to join Him as His people in His ongoing mission to make a difference to restore all things - in Him! This is our focus today.