By Pastor Bryce Formwalt, Director of Mission Growth, LCMC Texas District
Mission ...It's a Stewardship Issue
The only professional vocation I've ever known in my adult life has been ministry. Graduating from seminary at the age of 24, I have spent the last fifteen years working in positions that I have been passionate about and that have given my life great meaning and purpose. From time to time I have also wondered what others say about finding fulfillment in different occupations.
Ten years ago, I had the chance to get to know a guy who attended the church I was serving. I knew that this man was a local veterinarian, the first veterinarian that I had gotten to know on a personal level. I remember saying to him one time that I supposed he must be a big animal lover to dedicate his life to veterinary science. His response struck me in a profound way: "No, not particularly. I rather think of myself as a steward of God's creatures." And it hit me: he didn't just like what he did ... he understood his profession as a calling from God in much the same way that I understood my own.
A few years later, while ministering among farmers and ranchers in North Dakota, I met a rancher in my congregation shared with me that his mission as a rancher was to help feed the world. Along with that he had the responsibility to take care of his family, livestock, and the land that God had entrusted to him while helping to provide a safe and healthy food source for millions of people whom he would never, ever meet.
What these two faithful followers of Jesus were able to articulate is that how they lived their lives mattered. They both understood themselves as caretakers of the one and only life God had given them to live and understood that God had a specific purpose in mind for them ... and that God-given mission gave their life meaning and purpose and impacted the decisions they made on a day-to-day basis.
And they serve as a reminder for us that our God-given mission and purpose is an important stewardship issue: How are you spending the one and only life that you've been given? Are you investing your time, talents, and resources pursuing your God-given purpose? Does it impact your day-to-day decisions?
The same questions ought to be asked by church leaders of their congregation: Are we spending our time, talents, and resources pursuing our God-given purpose? Are we investing everything we have collectively to pursue the mission and vision to which God is calling us? In order to answer these questions, perhaps more foundational questions need to be asked: What is our mission? What is God's vision for our congregation?
Friends, one of the greatest pursuits in life is discovering our mission. It is a vital issue of the stewardship of our lives, both as individual followers of Jesus and as collective communities of faith. It is my hope and prayer that we all can faithfully and courageously pursue our God-given purpose and future.
TEXAS DISTRICT ANNUAL CONVENTION MEETING—It's Time To Register!
Theme: Multiply—“I am sending you to them” Acts 26:17 Date: July 28-29 (Friday evening and Saturday) at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 610 Fowzer St., Taylor, TX
Breakouts: Choose any two of 20 engaging breakout sessions to attend from presenters here in Texas and from across the country!
Convention Tickets: Adults - $40.00 thru 7/13, $50 after 7/14 Children under 18 - FREE (no childcare)
**Trinity will pay the registration fees for all members attending! Please pick up a registration form on Sunday morning, complete it and return it to the office. The church will submit payment and forms for the convention.