A church must be centered around preaching, teaching, and discipleship that is Scripture-based and Scripture-driven. The timeless authority of the Word of God – the proclamation of His love for all people through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ – that is the foundation of all that is done in our church. Bible studies, sermons, fellowship, nurturing, ministry, and service should all be grounded completely in the Word.
“What you see is what you get.” The people of God need to be real people, and the pastor recognized as a human being. The government of the church must be open, understood, accessible, and answerable. Many unchurched people are always on the lookout for hypocrisy among Christians. At Good Shepherd we want to do everything possible to negate that perception. The Christian isn’t perfect…just forgiven.
Communion is what the Holy Spirit does to a community. It isn’t controlled by human beings or protected by regulations; like discipleship, it is a vibrant, evolving entity. Christ’s communion with sinners and outcasts often came at the expense of how He was viewed by the religious-minded of His day. We are aware that ours might come under criticism in certain circles, too. Our celebration of the Eucharist reflects the understanding that Christ’s body and blood, like His death on the cross, is openly offered to all believers “in remembrance of Him.”
The Christian is never a finished product. Like any living organism, he/she is either growing or dying. Furthering this growth in oneself or in others is called discipleship. It is the process that begins with the winning of new people to Christ, and continues as they grow through training and education into service, leadership, and making disciples of others.
The Word of God still has something to say in a new millennium. It speaks to today’s world, offering comfort and healing to modern people. Every effort should be made to discover and meet people where they are at. This means becoming adept in using the latest technologies, analogies, and strategies to do so.
Whatever we do as a church, or as individuals in it, must be done well. No sloppy or half-hearted efforts will work. This includes our worship, our programs, our facilities, our service and our ministry. To ensure such quality there must be an accurate and ongoing process of evaluation.
There is no power on earth greater than prayer. It can move mountains, span chasms, heal divisions, support, affirm, and equip. And prayer means both talking to God and listening to Him. We can never ask, nor seek, nor knock in vain. For its life and future, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is entirely dependant upon prayer.
We call it “good news” for a reason! We are saved…before we even realize we are in peril. Christians should be happier than any other people in the world: giddy and in love because they realize the Lord of lords has fallen head over heels in love with them. So, and church should smile, laugh, giggle, embrace, and infect those around them with joy.
“…the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith…” To accomplish His work in His world, the Lord has equipped every Christian with gifts and talents that vary. These talents should not be buried, but rather discovered, encouraged, and developed for the growth of both the individual and the Body of Christ.