Vision Night 6/2013

In early June, we had a “Vision Night” at Genesis.  This was a time set aside to articulate who God has called us to be and how that affects what we are doing.  If you missed the gathering, here is a rundown of what was shared.

20 Mile March
In October of 1911, explorer Roald Amundsen set out to be the the first to lead a team to the South Pole.  The round trip trek was roughly fourteen hundred miles, the equivalent of the distance from New York to Chicago and back.  The environment was uncertain and unforgiving, where temperatures could easily reach 20 degrees below zero even during the summer.  They had no means of modern communications – no cell phones, no satellite links, no radio – a rescue would have been improbable were they to err.

The key to Amundsen’s success was his discipline to press forward in bad weather, and hold back his team in good weather.  Throughout the journey, Amundsen adhered to a regimen of consistent progress, never going too far in good weather, careful to stay away from the red line of exhaustion that could leave his team exposed, yet pressing ahead in nasty weather to stay on pace.  Amundsen led his well-tuned team to travel between 15 and 20 miles per day, in a relentless march to 90 degrees south.  When a member of Amundsen’s team suggested they could go faster, up to 25 miles a day, Amundsen said no.  They needed to rest and sleep so as to continually replenish their energy.  Explained simply, Roald’s strategy to be the first to reach the South Pole was the “20 Mile March”.

So what is Genesis’ “20 Mile March”?  What are the things we can commit to achieving for years with consistency?

I believe that there are three things that we can commit to achieving on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.  Those three things are as follows:  Loving God, Making disciples and Serving the world.

Loving God – Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all of our heart, soul and body.  Everything we do is in light of God’s love for us and His command to love Him back.  We only love God because He first loved us and formed a covenant relationship with us.  Our love for God compels us to be with Him in prayer, study and worship.  To be restored into this loving, personal relationship with God is part of God’s purposes for all of humanity.  We want to commit to living out a vibrant, loving relationship with God.

Individually, a number of people within Genesis study the Bible daily as an expression of their worship for God.  Also, we gather as one body on Sundays as a celebration of God’s love and our intent to love Him back.

Making disciples – Making disciples was the mission of Jesus and the co-mission of His followers.  A disciple is one who does what Jesus did with the same motivation.  Jesus gave a select few greater access to His life and challenged them regularly to live like Him.  A clear distinction in Jesus’ disciple-making method is that His disciples were able to reproduce their life in others.  We want to commit to being disciples and then discipling others to multiply their lives.

I am very aware of how intimidating making disciples can sound to those who have never been discipled.  Over the last year and a half, we have been learning and applying a framework for intentionally making disciples.  Within the next couple of years the majority of our community will have the opportunity to be discipled with the sole purpose of turning around and making disciples.

Serving the world – Jesus rejected the idea that a person could have a relationship with God without showing compassion to others.  This is apparent in the second greatest commandment, to love others as yourself.  Serving the world is an expression of loving God by compassionate action towards the poor, broken, lonely, marginalized and hungry.  We want to commit to living a consistent life of service and compassion.

Every month at Genesis there are opportunities to get involved in acts of service toward others.  Either serving one of our compassion partners, engaging in a “Love In Action Day”, or naturally sharing our resources with our neighbors or those in need.

Loving God, Making Disciples, Serving the World.  These three expressions illustrate the three dimensional life of Jesus; His intimacy with His Father, His deliberate discipleship of a few, and His purposeful ministry to the masses.  If these things make up the life of Jesus, then they should be equally present in the life of the Church.

It is our hope that we as a church body, small groups, serving teams, families and individuals could take ownership of our “20 Mile March” – to love God, make disciples and serve the world.

Next Steps:
In the Fall, our Church-wide Initiative will be focused on living out the 3 dimensional life of Jesus:  His intimacy with His Father, His deliberate discipleship of a few, and His purposeful ministry to the masses.  Our plan is to equip Small Groups to make them accessible for families to learn together how to live as Jesus did.  Over the Summer we will be training, equipping and modeling these multi-generational groups.

In an ongoing manner, more and more people from within Genesis will be invited into an intentional season of discipleship.  Over the next year we plan to see 50 people intentionally discipled with the sole purpose that these would turn around and disciple 250 people.

Also in the Fall, the Treehouse (Elementary Student Ministry) will be introducing a new curriculum that aligns perfectly with the ongoing direction of the church.  This new curriculum also incorporates training for the parents to help them interact with what their children are learning.

Our next “Love In Action Day” is set for Saturday, June 22, from 9 am – 1 pm, and we would love to see the Genesis community out serving in full force.  Also, we have been invited to host the celebration following the Royal Oak Aids Walk on Sunday, September  22.  We are honored to be able to participate in this event in the name of Jesus and offer care and support for the walkers and those suffering locally and globally with this disease.

Thank you for your support and participation within Genesis.  We are excited to see what unfolds as we move deliberately towards God’s calling for Genesis.

Beau McCarthy
Lead Pastor
Genesis the Church

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