Hello GRC family. We’re excited to finally be here! After accepting the call to serve as your Pastor of Discipleship back in February it’s been a whirlwind of transition to close out life and ministry in Michigan while eagerly anticipating settling into our new life and GRC family here. And you all have gone through similar changes and transitions here during that time, as well! Thank you to so many of you who have already welcomed us, fed us, and begun forming new friendships with us.
God often has a way of using times of transition to cause us to step back and look at the big picture. As my family transitions to life and ministry here, and as our whole GRC family transitions to a new location in Glen Rock in our first very own building, it’s good and natural for us to step back and remember what it’s all for. I’ve appreciated listening to Peter’s sermons from afar over the last few months, because he has done a great job helping us think of that big picture. And I hope you have been prayerfully considering ideas that you can share at the Town Hall meeting this Sunday. As we consider these practical, hands-on ministry opportunities, I find it helpful to back up even more to the consider the cosmic scope of our calling as a church.
From eternity past (if we can even speak of such a concept) God has always existed in a relationship of loving community and joyful harmony: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And for some reason-out of no lack within the Godhead but simply out of a generous nature-God decided this was too good not to share. So he created a perfect world with humanity made in his image to live in harmony and fellowship with God, one another, and the wider creation around us. As you know that harmony was broken when our first parents rejected God’s kingship and sought their own independence from him. But God has been directing all of history toward the end that he will not only be our Creator, but also our loving, gracious, and merciful Redeemer and Savior until that day when creation will be fully and finally restored, and we will live in perfect fellowship with God, one another, and the rest of creation for all eternity.
This is the mission of God. And the church is a preview-like the “coming attractions” before a movie-of that coming reality. We are called to share his life and reflect his character in how we relate to him, one another, and the world. The way we love God (in response to his love for us) and love one another and the world (as an overflow of God’s love for us) should be a “sign post” pointing the way to God’s coming kingdom. And this cosmic vision informs our disciple-making task: to introduce people to God through the gospel, to form them as the people of God through the gospel, and to equip and send them to join in the mission of God with the gospel. Discipleship involves your own personal growth. But it is much bigger than that. It has everything to do with forming you to be part of your church family and, together, to live like the missionaries we are to a lost and hurting world, because our heavenly Father is the first and great Missionary. I look forward to fleshing that out in tangible ways with you all in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Steve Sage recently joined GRC as its Pastor of Discipleship. He loves sports and always chooses local teams to follow in addition to his long-standing favorites. He’s currently taking suggestions for which NY teams to follow and why.