Dying is Good

Is dying ever good? On first impression, most people would probably say “no.” Yet, with even cursory reflection, thoughtful people understand that dying is a natural process, part of God’s creation. “Good Friday,” as Christians call it, is “good” because the death of Jesus brings the gift of salvation and eternal life to all who believe. We can't receive resurrection without first dying.

At the Council meeting last month one member blurted out: “We are dying as a congregation!” That sentiment might offend you. It might depress you. You might strongly disagree. Or you might say, as I did, “that’s one of the most refreshing statements I’ve heard at a Church Council meeting in a long time.” Christ the King is dying. Thanks be to God! And here's why: Congregations must change or die. When we resist change, we are choosing to die. There is no resurrection without dying--at least some things must die for new life to begin.

We have an exciting new Vision and Mission Statement. It is hopeful, future-focused, and joyful. It reflects serene confidence that we are trusting God to guide us:

THE VISION OF CHRIST THE KING LUTHERAN: “A growing, Christ-centered, outwardly-focused congregation passing the joy of the risen Jesus to all generations.”
THE MISSION OF CHRIST THE KING LUTHERAN: “Change lives by sharing the joy of Jesus Christ to all people, with a focus on young families.”

Everything we do should pass the mission test question: “Does this activity/practice/belief fulfill the mission of Christ the King?” The “Mission Statement” changes over time, but the vision remains the same. The vision is so big, in fact, that it is never fully achievable.

At its April meeting, the Council discussed at length the need to change our worship times to fulfill the Vision and Mission of Christ the King. Beginning Memorial Day weekend and continuing until Labor Day we will experiment with a new schedule for the summer.

Most exciting to me is that we are committed to adding a Wednesday “Church Family Night." This might include a short, lively worship service, youth and family events, a simple meal, choir practice, Confirmation, etc.

I invite you to pray about doing your part to make our ministry harmonious with God’s vision and mission for Christ the King Lutheran. Any new effort requires us all to be flexible, so I hope you will step up to the challenges we face.

Happy Resurrection!
Pr Rick Lund