Renewal is a church coming alive in Jesus, centering on four key elements of our identity as Lutherans; The Word; The Water; the Wheat and Wine; and our Witness. Throughout history, theologians have studied the great awakenings, revivals, and renewals seen in the church throughout the world. There are five underlying elements that are found at the center of each time of renewal. Whether in one church, in a region, or across the world – sociologists have observed that these five things are present in each revival: recovery of the Gospel, renewed individuals (discipleship), evangelism and outreach through relationship, the instituted means of grace in worship, and extraordinary prayer. 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.
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” -Isaiah 58:12
The root meaning of the word equipping (katartizo) in classical Greek describes what a doctor does. A doctor “equips” a body that has brokenness. Equipping is to put what is broken into right relationship with the rest of the body. Whether it’s setting a bone or popping a shoulder back into place, the doctor sees each individual part while simultaneously seeing the whole.
Any EMT, doctor, or nurse will explain that it is futile to put a small bandaid on a big problem. The same is true in our relationship with God, but how often are we satisfied with the quick fix? God desires more than that. He desires restoration. All of the wrongs being made right. Brokenness healed. Sin atoned for. That we may come in and go out, both now and forever more. It is the wholeness of the shalom of God.
As disciples – followers of Jesus Christ – we are content no longer to simply be “believers” for we have had an encounter with the unwavering grace of Jesus Christ who has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his Son, in whom there is the redemption and forgiveness of sins. As we journey to the cross and empty tomb this year with stirred hearts, we recognize this as a time of “equipping,” where the Great Physician takes what is broken and puts it into right relationship with the rest of the body.
Sin has corrupted and distorted our relationship with God and each other. Each month, as the family of God, we will be focusing on a specific area that has been broken and distorted. We will be asking tough questions. But our prayer is that as disciples, we may live into what God is setting right, fixing, repairing, and restoring.
For Jesus is the ultimate “Repairer of Broken Walls” or “Repairer of the Breach,” and through his death and resurrection, our lives are now built on the Solid Rock, the Ebenezer, the Cornerstone. And not only that, we have been invited into the great journey to be disciples for our lives to serve as an Ebenezer, a testimony, a real life object lesson that we can confess, standing on the shoulders of the giants who have come before, that we too may be called “Repairer of Broken Walls and Restorer of Streets With Dwellings.”
What Does This Mean?
We’ve heard the deep need that has been articulated by many leaders through congregational reports, social media, a survey amongst mission district deans, SWOT Analysis, narrative interviews, and Mission Festival feedback. One of the most consistent pieces of feedback that is received is: “I didn’t learn this in school, and I really needed to.” While long term pieces are being put into place, there is an immediate need. To that end – we are utilizing the gifts that God has given us already. NALC Leaders sharing their knowledge with other NALC Leaders.
Welcome to The Academy
Join us! Each month we will be hosting a free webinar based on expressed needs by NALC Leaders for NALC Leaders. Some of the topics we will be connecting with are:
- Culture Shock – What does it mean to be the church when it feels like there has been a cultural earthquake.
- Be Visionary – Sharpening your vision and defining your mission requires strategic planning and preparation. Helping develop “go” thinking.
- Embrace the Mess? – Mission is messy, and sometimes can feel challenging. Dealing with conflict isn’t easy, but is critical to a healthy congregation.
- Technology in the Tool Bag – How technology can be an amazing tool for both mission and discipleship, and make the mission easier for you as a leader!
- Leading Effective Change – Leading effective change is an emotional business, especially in churches. It is not enough just to “manage” change; people need to be led through change.
- Spend Time With People the Way Jesus Did – Why visitation and relational ministry are critical to ministry as a leader. Some practical tools to help equip you for the mission.
- Develop A Supportive FaithWeb – Grandparents (both biological and adoptive) have a unique role to play in this discipleship process through FaithWebbing!
- Burn Out and The Leader – A critical topic to address in our culture today. Is more of an explanation required?
- The Digital World Part 2 – How do I create a PowerPoint? Do I need a license for that? Other random tools in a digital world that can be helpful for every day life.
The leader hosting the webinar will be available to connect one-on-one following the webinar, and some will also be hosting break out sessions during LutheranWeek. Finally, for those who are interested in taking next steps, there will be opportunities for small groups conversation (MasterMind Groups). Watch for specific days, times, and connection information in the near future!
Interested in accessing the latest sessions of The Academy or recordings from the past? Please visit: https://missions.nalcnetwork.com/tag/academy/