Thursday, 15 April 2021 11:42
Good Morning Church Family and FriendsWritten by Jeron Parkins
We pastors met yesterday and talked about the difference between the living church and church structures. Structures and systems (buildings, by-laws, programs and ministries) are put in place for the sake of the mission of the church and for the people of the church. The church doesn’t exist for the sake of structures and systems but for Jesus and his people. Think about it this way: As a gardener puts up a trellis to support the vine, we put structures and systems in place to support people and their relationship with God. The vine’s health and thriving is the point of the trellis. The grape vine doesn’t exist for the trellis but the trellis exists for the vine and the vinedresser’s purpose of experiencing a harvest. A strong trellis needs to be strong once the vine starts to bear grapes. As church leaders we are will continue to develop our systems and structures but we dare not lose sight of the purpose. We aren’t in the business of making a bigger bureaucracy. We aren’t shooting for a bigger campus as an end goal. Success for a church isn’t the production of a policy manual (thank God!) or a beautiful trellis. It’s all about the vine. It’s all about the people of Jesus becoming like Jesus. It’s about people like you learning to follow Jesus. It’s about the people of Jesus bearing fruit for God’s glory. It’s about disciples making disciples. As time goes on we will continually go to work on the trellis, seeking to make it stronger and better suited to producing a harvest – we will continually seek to upgrade and adapt our programs and ministries and systems and structures to create an environment and setting for people to hear the gospel and grow in their relationship with Christ. What I want to say to you is that as we see a new building come on line, as we see software more fully implemented and new classes or groups start, it won’t matter if people don’t engage (what good is a trellis without a vine?). We can set the table and have the richest of food, but if nobody sits down to eat, it’s all for not. You are the church. You are the vine. Your transformation into the image of Christ is the goal. As pastors we want to build a trellis so to speak, that does an excellent job at helping the vine be as productive as possible. To this could be added the additional metaphor of environment (sun and soil and water) – we want to have a church that is rich in fellowship, teaching, serving, worship and gospel proclamation so that you can become a healthy disciple (which Pastor Bo defined for us as being a family member Mark 3:31-35; a learner Matthew 11:28-29; a servant Luke 22:25-27; a worshiper John 4:23-24; and a missionary Matthew 28:19-20). To do so, we might need to change some of our systems or our practices (without changing the truth or watering down the gospel). Maybe we are offering classes or groups that aren’t meeting you where you are or aren’t at the times that work for your schedule. Let us know and we can seek to bring some options. But my brother and sister, are you putting yourself into a position to grow? Are you putting yourself in a position to learn? Are you organizing your life to know Jesus more? Are you intent upon learning how to serve Jesus? Jesus’ command to teach people his commands assumes that there are people who want to learn and want to follow the Lord. We as pastors are trusting that the Spirit of God is moving in people’s lives today, calling them to himself. If the Spirit of Jesus is moving in your life and calling you to growth, what needs to change in your life? For most people in this fast paced, over committed world, it means saying no to certain things so that you can have the space in your life to draw near to God. It means prioritizing practices that lead to knowing God, and learning his ways. Are you on the same spiritual level you were a few years ago? Why or why not? Are you more like Jesus today that you were five years ago? God is at work in your life and there are a lot of things that contribute in his providence to your transformation (including suffering and trials) but you play a key role in your sanctification and your growth into Christ-likeness. Will you put yourself into the right environment to grow and place around yourself the right structures that lead to bearing fruit? The alternative is to be conformed to the world. What will become of you over the remainder of 2021?
Here’s a quick update on what’s happening at the church in the near future…
Our Worship Services are at 9:00 and 10:45 A.M.
FAMILY TEAM POPCORN and MOVIE April 23
EAGLE LAKE CAMP BAKESALE April 25
We’re having a fundraiser for kids to attend Eagle Lake Camp (coming to Alamosa July 19-23). There will be all kinds of baked goods available on Sunday April, 25! If you haven’t registered your kids yet for camp here’s the link: Please go to https://eaglelakecamps.com/camp/livingwater/
LADIES SPRING TEA May 1
BABY DEDICATIONS May 2
LATIN NIGHT May 21
Living Water’s Mission Board and Family Team are planning a fun night of fellowship, dinner and some dancing lessons on Friday, May 21. Proceeds will go towards Guatemala Mission Team projects. More information to come!
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATE
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL June 28-July 2
REIGN YOUTH GROUP MISSIONS WEEK July 11-16
While the Gallup reservation is still not open for the youth to serve, they will be working locally to bless our community.
EAGLE LAKE DAY CAMP July 19-23
Please go to https://eaglelakecamps.com/camp/livingwater/ to register your children.
Please contact Pastor Bo for more information.
Dates: July 19–23, 2021 Ages: 6-12 Length: Mon–Fri, 9 am- 4 pm Cost: $200
Activities: Arts & Crafts, Block Racers, Gagaball, Group Games, Inflatables, Laser Tag, Speakers & Worship, Tie Dye, and Many More!
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SUMMMIT August 5-6
We’ve hosted the Global Leadership Summit for several years now. Most of those registering have been from the local businesses or city and county employees. It’s been nice to serve our local community by hosting this uplifting and encouraging leadership conference at Living Water. If you want to participate the cost is $99 until July 13th. Click on the following link and when prompted insert this code 21SVTEAM https://register.globalleadership.org/#/reg/trans/one?invtID=EV-LSS2108-MAIN-SVA00028&orgCustomerID=704772&priorityCD=21SVTEAM
This time of the year it is common for folks to transition out of the San Luis Valley for new jobs. If you have farewell parties for people please respond to this email and let me know and I’ll announce it.
On Sunday, May 2 we’re having a farewell gathering for John and Lynn Clark as they transition to Texas. It’s from 2-4 P.M. in the Fellowship Hall.
Thanks for Reading!