Pew-sitter or cross-bearer?
The Holy Spirit GATHERS us around His Word and gifts of grace;
We GROW together in His grace as Christ invites us to hear His unchangeable Word and receive His Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion;
We GO in grace and mercy to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbor, the community, and the world.
We do not gather together as an exclusive club only focusing on our own needs. The Holy Spirit gathers us so that we can focus on a world that needs Jesus. We go beyond our walls and get our shoes dusty and our hands dirty. As Jesus teaches us, we love our God with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our strength, and with all of our mind and we love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).
This doesn't mean we sit in a pew once a week and cross worship off of our checklist.
Worship is a privilege and is a time when God comes to us as His children and He gives us His gifts of grace through His Word and Sacrament.
We show our gratitude as His forgiven children with music and prayer that praise His holy name. As we gather together as forgiven brothers and sisters in Christ, we encourage each other, sympathize with each other, cry with each other, laugh with each other, and forgive each other as any family would. We grow in the Spirit and we daily live in our Baptism as we struggle between saint and sinner.
But we never forget that this life isn't about us.
It is about reaching out to lost and wounded souls with the love of Christ. The joy we share together as we come together in Christ is something we want to share beyond our walls. So we go and meet people where they are.
We offer a listening ear when they hurt, a hug when they need encouragement, and a smile that says that they matter. People matter because Jesus died on the cross for all people so they would be forgiven and have eternal life.
Not by anything we have done, but by grace through faith alone does He give us salvation. Jesus came to this world not to condemn it, but to save it. Our congregation emphasizes "mission eyes" where we try, by God's grace, to always look to see how we can help our neighbors.
People are not a dollar sign or a number. They are God's desire to be saved. He sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ so that His blood would be payment for our sins. Through faith all believers receive this wonderful gift. And faith comes from hearing His unchangeable Word.