March 2023 (NALC Vision Part 2)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Greetings to you in this season of Lent, a season for renewal.

Last month, I introduced the NALC’s 2020 Vision goals for the church body and all congregations to consider for their own vision. One of the objectives is called “Renew.” Being renewed is an excellent topic to discuss during the season of Lent because, during this season, we are asked to consider ourselves, our sins, our life, and even the life of the church on how we can see our faith in the light of Jesus Christ.

We must remember our historical roots when considering the idea of being renewed. It is good to remember the past, where we as a congregation came from. But at the same time, we realize that many things have changed, and the church has adjusted and renewed itself during those times of change.

The NALC wants us to consider that the idea of “Renew” is to have “Fresh Eyes for Mission.” Having fresh eyes for the mission is a mindset change for the congregation on how we can reach out to people for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. NALC hopes to help congregations as they say on their website: “‘Fresh Eyes for Mission’ summits are being planned through 2024. This face-to-face renewal ministry will assist congregations in refocusing their mission to their community and the world. A congregation is led through an extensive pre-meeting workshop that assesses demographics and missional capacity. An on-site visit engages leaders to take hold of the opportunities that are discovered in the process. The result is a concerted effort toward congregational renewal and vitality.”

In addition to having a fresh eye for the mission, we consider life worship. Evaluating best practices that are taking place with growing congregations around us. Things have changed, and that change does not mean we have adopted a rock band approach but recognizes some of the best practices for us as a congregation to consider. In many cases, it is recommended for smaller congregations focus their energy on one worship service verse multiple service times. To renew sometimes means to renew energy by place strengthening one by removing another.

Renewal is good for us in our life and for our congregation, and during this season of Lent, let us consider how we can renew our faith and the life of our congregation for the future.

In Christ,

Pr. Tom