As we continue through this season of Pentecost, we are celebrating God’s goodness and faithfulness. In 1 Peter 2:6 we read:
For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
There are many discouraging things that we face today in this world: a continuing global pandemic, civil unrest, political instability throughout the world, and natural disasters. But these things should not come as a surprise to us since the fall in Genesis 3. We do not ignore the challenges, but rather, we proclaim the faithfulness and goodness of our God. We proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ which does not change, even in the midst of a changing world. And we know that other things may be shaken and fall away, that we rest securely because of the unshakable cornerstone. We rejoice in the privilege that God has called us into mission together as living stones, built upon the rock that is Jesus Christ.
To that end, our strategy for 2020-2021 continues:
A Paradigm for Revival – in Psalm 85, we have a paradigm or blueprint for revival. It is the nature of what the renewal and revival of the church looks like practically speaking.
vv. 1-4: Remember God’s Faithfulness – The same God who has called us His own through the death and resurrection of his Son, who has claimed us in baptism, sealed us by His Holy Spirit, and continues to feed us at his table is faithful. He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ.
vv. 5-6: Acknowledge The Present – it is critical not to dismiss our current reality. Not dismissing the difficult things that stand before us or in our midst, the struggles, and our own need for repentance.
vv. 7-9: The Word – renewal and revival only come by the Word of God. It is critical that we listen and submit to the Word of God and be sustained by His Word.
vv. 10-13: Look to God’s Promises – looking to the future as we are called to be ambassadors, living agents of God’s grace. Living into our call of the Great Commission to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
New Starts in the NALC – Starting New Missional Communities to Expand the Kingdom of God
The NALC is committed to the renewal of all our congregations, working to develop and deliver resources that challenge and open the NALC to the work of the Holy Spirit in our ministry and mission.
In I Corinthians 3:6-8 the Apostle Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but God gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to the labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s eld, God’s building.“
In the NALC, we are embracing a different strategy for mission. Rather than the national church being responsible for planting congregations, it is critical to put mission in the hands of congregations. Mission funds need to be in the hands of congregations. Mission projects and strategy need to be in the hands of congregations. That is why we emphasize that the NALC is Mission Driven and Congregationally Focused. Congregations are in the driver’s seat of planting churches.
Approximately 19% of congregations in the NALC began as a new start (church plant)! Rather than making one office responsible for mission, we make thousands of congregations in the mission field responsible for the propagation of the Gospel — and for the planting of churches. That is why we say the NALC does not plant churches from the national office. If planting churches is not done by congregations — and specifically your congregation — it is not going to be done. That’s why responsible pastors and mission congregations work individually or collectively within their Mission Districts to make pastors, lay leaders, and members responsible for the work of mission. To assist in this endeavor, we are mobilizing critical resources and systems.
Planting the church of Jesus Christ is essential for God to make disciples. And that’s what we are all about in the NALC. Jesus is not outsourcing the work of mission planting to others. God desires to grow the church, and wants to use us to make it happen!
Great Commission Global Work and Initiatives
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
The DNA of the NALC is to become and make 1st-century disciples in the 21st century. One of the avenues of becoming more authentic disciples is inviting each congregation to discover three partners: local, national, and global. The primary vision of the North American Lutheran Church’s International Mission Team is connecting congregations with international partners.
Several of our long-term goals that will assist us in leaning into this are:
- Continued support of Global Workers during COVID-19 as we work to address special financial needs due to pandemic.
- Working with SON Network and WMPL to develop pipeline and strategic “kit” for adopting and deploying global workers
- Working with WMPL and EECMY and our pan-African global youth ministry.
If you would like to connect to additional details or more information, please email: [email protected]