As you know, we at Preparing for Amazement focus on the health of people and congregations. To aid you in thinking through such health, I want to take a moment and consider what it means for congregations to ask the following question focused on spiritual health:
What are the most life-giving aspects of our relationship with God right now?
Where do we crave more growth in our relationship with God?
As a pastor, I have been leading Christians and churches for many years and I have noticed that we rarely ask about our relationship with God communally. Do we even consider our communal relationship with God?
If your congregation does, that is fantastic! Please tell us some of your success stories as you grapple with God together! My bet, however, is that many of us see church as a place where my individual relationship with God grows alongside others. So, maybe the first step as a congregation, board, or committee is to really consider your collective life together and your collective faith in the God who loves and provides.
Once you see how interconnected God’s people are, then you can share the life-giving aspects of life together. You can celebrate the growth in faith people experience. You can appreciate how God has been with you through some challenging times. You can focus on those moments of faith that encourage you and keep you going. More than anything, you will be able to grow TOGETHER. You can start to see how faith is not a solo-game. When we are excited, overjoyed, and content, we are those things together. When we are stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious or depressed, we are those things together.
Another amazing thing happens as we develop our relationship with God together. We crave more! We crave knowing more of what God is doing not only in my life, but in our life. We crave discovering more about who God is and how God has moved within our history and present. We crave finding out what the future has in store for us!
Take time as a congregation, a board, or a committee to discuss these things:
- Does your congregation see faith as communal? To say it another way, “Does your congregation consider their relationship with God to be something you have together?”
- What can you celebrate together?
Note: this is not an opportunity to celebrate what God is doing in each other’s lives. Rather, it is a chance to see how God has blessed your life together.
- What are you craving together?
Note: This may take some time to discover. Stick with it!
Nate Whittaker, Coach