If you are new to this blog....

Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

ga220 reflection guest post - "making disciples"

The commissioners from the Presbytery of Charlotte were to report at our presbytery meeting today and a written reflection by myself and Kate Murphy was unintentionally omitted from the presbytery packet.  I had shared the "Disappointment and Hope" reflection from this blog.  The other reflection was by my friend, the Rev. Kate Murphy. Her reflection is below.



“Making Disciples” – the Rev. Kate Murphy

Reflections on the 220th General Assembly (2012) 



After some soul-searching, I’m going to share this piece I wrote on the second day of GA. I don't write to tear down the PCUSA. This is the place God calls me to be, but I do trust God enough to tell the truth (as I see it)--because I think God is pruning and shaping us into something beautiful.



Yesterday, I worshiped at Mt. Ararat Baptist church with my friend Eustacia—and it was possibly the most powerful and authentic worship service I’ve ever experienced—the fellowship, the music, the dancing, the JOY—and the word. Rev. Curtis is an incredible preacher—but I’ve heard lots of really great preachers. What’s breath-taking is that you realize, the sermon is not the goal for him—it’s the tool, it is the means to the end—and the end is us. He’s preaching to create and deepen disciples, you can look around and see people changing, things breaking down in their hearts—in my heart. That congregation isn’t focused on being a great church (though it certainly is), and that ministry isn’t just making disciples, it’s maturing them. That community of faith teaches believers that life with Christ is not about knowing more or doing more, it’s about being more through the grace of Jesus Christ.



And I wonder, when did we in the PCUSA get the idea that there were more important things to do than make and deepen disciples? And we have—just look at what we gather to do at our big important bi-annual meeting. We don’t gather in committees to talk about evangelism, or spiritual disciplines, or stewardship, or worship—much less patience or forgiveness or love. We don’t want to be more in Christ—we want to do things in the world for God. I did not sit on the Ministry with Immigrants committee—we’re not interested in being church with strangers and ‘aliens’ in our country, we didn’t spend a second talking about that. I sat on the Immigration Affairs committee, because we’re focused on making policy, not disciples. We’re telling the world—and ourselves—what matters in the PCUSA. We’ve got more important things to do than grow deep in the grace of God. We’ve got to fix the world.



Why don’t we get that the most important work we have to do as an institution is to form the people that God sends out into the world? When did raising up and equipping the priesthood of all believers become insignificant to us? Don’t tell me we do it—we don’t even talk about doing it. And don’t tell me God does it for us without any intentionality and effort on our part. Nobody grows deep in God by accident. People whose hearts God lights on fire will go looking for a place to equip them to carry that flame out into a cold and dark world. Mt. Ararat Baptist is doing that work. And it’s not because they’re right and we’re wrong—it’s because God is equipping them to do it, because they’ve made it their primary work. I know God would equip us too—in our own way, in our own style, if only we chose it for our primary work. What if instead of writing policy papers for the US State Department, we tried to nurture and form disciples to go and be the State Department—or if we tried to be the body of Christ with and for the men and women God has already called to do that work?

Tag Cloud

2014 2015 accountability acts advent archive art arts ash wednesday aslan assurance audio auditions bands belief bigotry blessing blob bloggers blooper reel bluegrass body of christ book book reviews boomer boundaries breadth of worship builder bus calling Calvin Symposium cd ceilidh change character of god chart christmas church church partnerships civility commandments commentary communication community con ed confession confirmation contemporized hymns crisis culture D.Min. dance darkness death definitions denomination depth of worship discernment discipleship discourse dismissal dissertation drama early church easter ecclesiology ecpc emergent church error evangelism excellence exile exodus experimentation facebook failure faith family of God father fear fellowship fellowshippres following forgiveness friendship frost fruit frustration funerals GA ga219 ga220 GAhelp generations genX gift gifts girl scouts good news Google gospel grace gracious witness gspc youth hands health highlights holy spirit holy week hope hospitality humility humor hymn image of God imago dei improvisation incarnation inclusion index information insider language institutions interns invitation iTunes james jazz Jeremy Begbie john piper jonah joy judgment Keith and Kristyn Getty kids kindness language law lay renewal leadership legalism lent license life light lighthouse linked articles links listening liturgy loneliness love lyrics maddie shuler meme mentoring mercy metanarrative mgb commission millenials ministry networks miscellaneous mission missional missional identity missions moderator montreat mumford music narnia neighborhood neighbors new wineskins new year news newsletter NEXT NEXTchurch nicaragua noticing obedience obstacles organizations outreach palm sunday parenting participation pastor pastoral ministry pcaus pcusa peace performance peter pgf pictures plagues planning podcasting poetry politics ponderings pornography post-modernism prayer preaching presbymergent presbyterian global fellowship presbytery publishing questions racism reader reconciliation recordings recycled goodness redemption reflection refugees relationship relationships retreat righteousness risk roadblocks rss rules sabbatical safety salt samaritan satan satire scotland searchlight searchlight 2.0 sectarianism self-righteousness seminaries sermon snippets sermon-song sermons shalom sheep shepherding sin small church social media song songwriters songwriting spheres of influence spirit spiritual lessons spiritual power stewardship stories story sub-culture summary sunrise talent challenge tears technology teenagers Ten Commandments terrorism testimony theater theft theological education top posts tragedy transformation translation travel trees trinitarian worship trinity trust truth twitter union with christ valentines VBS video virtual reality vision waiting website wednesdays out wee kirk welcome witness word cloud wordle words workshop worship writing year-end YL you tube youth