Thursday, July 16, 2009

Still Bringing Jesus?

One month after Annual Conference 2009 and we continue to ask, “Are we still bringing Jesus?” The core of the NCC vision is to see all of our Free Methodist congregations working together to “Bring Jesus to the North Central United States.”

Our churches must impact the community God has uniquely situated them to serve. Jesus had significant impact by actually loving his community, the people in it, associating with them, and meeting their temporal needs even as he shared an eternal message. In so doing, he associated with the rich (Mtw.27.57) and poor (Mtw.11.5), the powerful (Jn.3.1; 7.50) and powerless (Jn.4.25-27), but had a preference to minister among those who knew they had the deepest of needs to be healed, accepted, given hope and restored – the poor and disenfranchised (Lk.12.32-34). The Jesus model still works.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (Jms.1.27). Jesus welcomes into His Father’s kingdom those who feed the hungry, clothe the naked and love the
imprisoned (Mtw.25:31-46). The double helix of Free Methodist DNA is personal and social holiness. As B.T. Roberts was stirred to action to oppose slavery and bring positive social solutions to address the systematic denial of rights, education and opportunity to women and
people of color, so must we embody that DNA today. Every church – whether an area of wealth or poverty, rural or urban, ethnically diverse or homogenous – must understand that its call is not first to its members but to the lost, lonely, disenfranchised, spiritually and materially poor that populate their neighborhoods, towns and regions.

To win one more soul, to gain a gospel hearing, our churches must reorient toward loving their communities through meeting real needs in the name of Jesus Christ, and boldly declaring the eternal life provided by the Son of God. W e are the “body of Christ!” W e must embody Jesus’
passion to love and minister to the real needs of those in each of our cities, towns and villages. In each of the six districts of the NCC, congregations regularly “Bring Jesus” to their community.

What are some of the ways that you and your church have decided to share the good news both in word and deed?

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