As I was walking through Walmart this past week I noticed the back to school displays and realized how excited the children must be. After all how much freedom, fun, and fresh air can a child take before they go back to school? It did make me realize that time has kept marching on and maybe even increased pace this summer. It seems that yesterday I was writing about summer vacations and family time and here it is the beginning of the school year.
Most of the children I have talked with are not excited about school. They have been enjoying their time away from a routine that keeps them busy at a school desk. I share with them that they can look at the start of school as a new beginning; a kind of do over. There will be new people to meet, challenges to face, and learning to accomplish. Looking back at the changes in the church I realize that we are very much a new church.
I do not mean that we are a new church start or that things will drastically change. As a new church we face certain challenges. We have people telling us we cannot do things this why or that because “we’ve never done it that way before.” We have people that are unsure how to plug in and get involved because new things can be messy and a bit confusing. We also have people waiting to hear about God and Jesus Christ; desperately needing to fill a void in their lives. Being a new church leaves us with questions. Who are we? What do we stand for? Why are we a church?
The mission statement of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our conference adds lines about empowering leaders to make disciples. Westview’s mission statement is to create, equip and send forth disciples to spread God’s love. How do we do this? Is this who we want to be? Is this enough? As a new church we have the opportunity to explore the answers to these questions and really look at what God is calling us to do in the mission field that is Fairview Tennessee.
God has called us to be the hands and feet of Jesus sent to a hurting world. The leadership of Westview will be meeting to discuss this theme on August 4th after the second service. If you are interested in being a part of leadership, ministry, or involved in a new beginning join us for lunch and conversation to see what Westview UMC will be doing for God in the coming months.