Pastoral Articles

A Vision for Ministry

A Vision for Ministry

Dr. Jeffery VanGoethem, Senior Pastor

 

“I believe that America will never turn back from its downward course until individual Christians begin to live out the Gospel wherever God has planted them, whether as nurses, factory workers, bankers, and so forth, where they live lives of honesty, commitment, trustworthiness, and winsomeness to make the Gospel attractive to people who are very, very skeptical today.”

-Erwin Lutzer, Senior Pastor, Moody Church, Chicago

 

Our training leader at the New York City ministry this summer emphasized that as we went out to the streets to talk with people about the gospel, we should attempt to finish every conversation graciously. After all, our story, the gospel story, is totally and ultimately a narrative of grace. The gospel is the message of God’s grace. Jesus said, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3.17" data-version="esv">John 3:17). How can we present the gospel in a gracious way? That is a big challenge in an increasingly skeptical and secular culture. 

Part of the purpose of our vision process is to retool for this task and re-imagine how we must relate to our changing world. If we are not seeking to engage others around us and if we are not heartbroken when they seem tone deaf to the gospel, we are not responding as true Christians. Christians filled with the Spirit of Jesus cannot help but go into the world broken hearted and longing for God’s grace to take hold in the lives of people. 

Can we meet people without wondering about their spiritual condition? Can we have friends and not long for a way to share the gospel? Woe to us if we forget to love people and have compassion while ministering in the name of the gospel. Why we do things might be more important than how we do them. 

Remember that our vision process at Scofield is not primarily about what we are doing for ourselves. It is about retooling to engage a needy world all around us. It is taking some intentional steps toward this goal. 

That is why it is so exciting. I believe the end result of the process will be a greater release of all the gifts, talents, and testimonies that are found in our fellowship, so that our light will shine that much brighter in the darkness. Even those aspects of the vision plan that seem to be more “internal” are designed to be helpful in enhancing the release of the Spirit’s work in our lives. 

The hope is that one and all are ready to participate as the preliminary process comes to an end this month. The “preliminary process” is the talking part. That will soon be over. Then we will begin to put the plan into practice. Implementation is always more difficult than the “talking” part, that is for sure! However we are committed to following through on the plan.

So make sure and continue to participate, now, as the “talking” winds down and then, as the “doing” takes hold. All hands on deck! We have a large number of meetings scheduled throughout the month of September. Please attend one of them. Please stay informed and stay involved.

 

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