Sunday, February 17, 2008
We're not going anywhere . . .
It's offical: Greg has resigned from his position at Abundant Life and will go on staff (as "co-pilot" according to the current pastor) at Cornerstone March 2nd.
In some ways, our lives will change drastically. And we are really excited about the new adventures that await us!
But in reality, we're not going anywhere. We aren't moving (thank You, Lord), we aren't saying goodbye to family and friends. We aren't ending the wonderful partnership forged between the two fellowships. In fact, I am convinced that the bond between ALC and Cornerstone will continue to deepen and produce good fruit for the kingdom.
How cool is that?
We are all part of the same body--we are on the same team. In the past, when Greg pastored smaller congregations, he encouraged "our flock" to link arms with other churches in the community. We worked together to bring the love of Christ to our town. As we served side by side, giving God (and not any particular church) the glory, we became increasingly aware of the fact that we were all part of the same Body--the one true Bride of Christ.
I read a quote the other day that beautifully expresses my view of the church. It was written long ago by John Baillie, a respected Scottish theologian:
"The Christian Church is neither a local thing, nor a human thing, but is universal and divine. It has nothing to do with place or race, nor is it an association created by men for their own purposes. The Church is a divine society, created by God Himself . . ."
One of my new favorite authors, Wayne Jacobsen, puts it this way:
"I think Jesus looks at the church quite differently. He didn't talk about it as a place to go to, but a way of living in relationship to him and to other followers of his.
'Church' . . . doesn't identify a location or an institution. It describes a people and how they relate to each other. If we lose sight of that, our understanding of the church will be distorted and we'll miss out on much of its joy".
So, we aren't leaving one church to join another--we are still are members of the same family. We still have the same Father, serve the same Savior and have the same Spirit empowering and guiding us. And the links already formed between ALC and Cornerstone will not be broken--I believe the Lord will continue to weave our lives and ministries together as we serve Him together in Portland--and beyond.
How awesome is that?
"For we, being many, are one body in Christ . . ." Rom. 12:5
Check out Cornerstone's website: www.cstonechurch.com