What is the future of our church?

I know this question is not just on my mind as we continue forward in this COVID-19 pandemic reality in which we all live. The longer we journey, the more I find that answer is more complex than any one meeting, email thread, or Zoom call will be able to solve. It’s not an answer the staff can come up with in a staff meeting (or even a retreat) and it’s not one that will be solved through the preaching of a certain series.

The expedition to find an answer to what the future of our church looks like is found where it always has been found: in the fullness of our community. It’s not found in hiring the best staff, it’s not found in producing the best programs, it’s not even found in comparing ourselves to the church down the street, it’s found in us living, walking, and serving together as the faith community called to follow Jesus at Benson Baptist Church.

Romans 12:4-5 says “for as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” We’ll be visiting these verses more in-depth in our coming series on the role of a community of faith but, for today, I think it has a message we all need to hear: we need one another to find the answer to our question.

COVID-19 has created a difficult path toward an answer, but one is still there. It’s found when we come together as individuals in a community and ask “how can we work together to grow in faith and serve the community around us?” It’s found in each of us taking initiative to make things happen, to bring new ideas into reality, and to hold on to excitement as we move forward. As I’ve read through Church Conference notes from the last few decades, I’ve seen that it has been found many times over as Benson Baptist has walked together through good, and not as good, times. Through many staff, and many seasons. Ours is a church that knows how to serve together and how to keep moving – you’ve done it many times before.

So, as you reflect on what is ahead of us as a faith community, what part is God calling you to play in our present day existence? What role are you feeling a pull to take on in the larger collective that is Benson Baptist Church?

The staff is here to support you, but we’re also here to do our own work as members of our faith community! The Romans passage does not say that we are two bodies: a staff and a membership, but rather that we are one body. Todd, Michael, Debbie, and myself are are part of that larger body too. We walk in step with you, not behind you. As we move forward, we hope to be a church that is not staff dependent, as much as one that is staff partnering, as we work together as a larger community moving forward.

We’re in this together, friends. The future of our church is bright, the answer to our question is full of hope, and we will see God do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine… but only if we all get to work.

So, as we seek to answer the question “what is the future of our church?” what role is God calling you to as we move forward together?