10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead… This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. – Phil 3:10,14

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is a new year of our life together as servants of Jesus Christ. Praise and thanks to Him for the opportunities that lie ahead!

In two short verses, Paul’s words to the church at Philippi in the middle of the First Century match mine midway through my term with you. His words map the way forward for you to articulate the mission of Christ the King and call a minister to lead you. Here are the clear steps: 1. Know Christ and his will for you as a congregation (v. 10) 2. Serve Christ, even as your work might cause you some suffering. (v.10) 3. Focus on Christ: the prize is the call of God in Christ Jesus. (v.14)
Congregations have long memories. It is certainly important to be mindful of what God has done among you in the past, and to be thankful for His faithfulness. At the same time, it is just as necessary to forget the past. It is not your future. It is a foundation on which to build your future.

Most important at this stage of the pastoral search process is to discern a) who you are as a congregation; b) where you are headed and c) how to get there. Questions to ask: What do you do well as a congregation? What are your strengths ? Who are you trying to reach for the Kingdom? (Hint: “everyone” is not the correct answer.) How will you reach these people?

Christ the King Lutheran Church is over 60 years old. Do you want to live to be 100? Build on your strengths. In consultation with Christ and conversation among yourselves, sharpen your mission focus and make clear-eyed plans to accomplish it. Prepare to accept losses as you make your way forward. Not everyone likes change. You will lose in order to gain.

I am excited to work with you in the New Year to discern Gods plans for you and to find a pastor who will lead you. – In Christ Jesus, Pastor Rick