I believe our best days are ahead of us at Jordan Presbyterian Church. Over the past couple years we’ve had to face a number of difficult situations, and we’ve felt the burden of that. But God has been faithful and he has carried us through these times. Now we stand at a junction. What kind of church will JPC be going forward? Will we let fear and disappointment define us? Or will we step forward believing God is not finished with us yet? I believe our best days are ahead of us. Over the past year I’ve seen God working in subtle, yet significant ways.
- I’ve see an excitement and unity among our elders and deacons that is greater than I’ve ever seen at JPC.
- I see more and more people praying for the church and our ministry.
- God is bringing people to our church. Over the past year we’ve seen a handful of new people come. Many of these people are new to Christianity or returning after a long time away. They’ve come to Jordan because it has been a safe place for them to learn about Christ and grow in him.
- We have more people stepping up to help serve the church. New people are helping with music, cleaning the church, and teaching and in other places.
- I’ve seen people growing in Christ. I’ve had conversations with members who tell me that for the first time they have a strong urge to start reading their Bible on their own. Others have told me how they are finding a new identity in Christ because of the ministries of this church. People are coming to know Christ as their redeemer.
We cannot let the shadows of our disappointments overtake what God is doing among us right now.
Last year closed one chapter in the history of our church. But what will our next chapter look like? We don’t know how God will use us. But to simply think the best is behind us would be wrong for several reasons.
First, we want to honor the work of all those who have been part of JPC. We’ve seen many people come and go. Many of them put blood, sweat, and tears into the planting and growth of this church. We want to honor what they did by continuing their work. Those people want to hear about how JPC is thriving even after they left. If we do not do the work of renewal we dishonor those who have come before us.
Second, we want to have a church where the next generation grows to know Christ. We want a church that our kids and grandkids love to attend, and more importantly where they put their faith in Christ. If we only focus on the church reaching our individual needs, we will never be a church that reaches the next generation. We want to see our faith passed down to our kids and grandkids.
Third, there are so many people in our community who are searching for truth. The faith they grew up in suddenly doesn't seem to make as much sense as it once did. Others believe there has to be more to life than what they are currently experiencing, but are not sure where to find it. Our communities are full of people struggling with these questions. I believe Jordan Presbyterian Church is a good place for people to take that next step in their journey towards truth. I believe we are uniquely equipped to help people who are searching. Why? Because that is the story of so many of you. Our church is full of people who transitioned out of a religion that couldn’t answer their deepest questions. Our church is full of those who were searching for something more and found Christ here. We are a church that knows what it is like to be on a journey to know Christ.
What will the next chapter in the life of our church look like? The answer to that is up to all of us. The church is a community. When any one of us holds back we all suffer. This is the time for us to come together and start writing that next chapter. It’s the time for us to remember what JPC has meant to us. It’s time to remind yourself why you love your church.
Central to all this is our mission: that we are inviting everyone on our journey to know Christ above all else. The verb in our mission is inviting. We want to be an inviting church. We want to be inviting to those who are questioning their faith, we want to be inviting to those who are struggling, we want to be inviting to those looking for something more.
This process of renewing our vision will take place over the next year or so. In May we will have a short Sunday School series to have conversations about this. Here’s what I want you to do right now. Remind yourself why you love your church. What attracted you in the beginning? What kept you coming back? Why do you love your church? In a marriage, as time goes on, we get used to our spouses, and we can forget what attracted us to them in the first place. It’s the same with a church. I want you to take some time to remember why you love JPC. After doing that, I’d ask you make an extra effort reflect those things that first attracted you to JPC, because we want others to experience that as well.
I was recently talking with some of our long-time members and one of them said that it was time for spring at JPC. We’ve had a tough winter, but it’s spring now. We are seeing signs of new life. Spring is an exciting and beautiful time of year. Will you come out and celebrate spring at JPC with us?