Beyond the Pulpit – August

Last month, we made a major decision in the life of our church. The decision to remove ourselves from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination was a decision that will impact our church for the remainder of its existence. Just as our forefathers and mothers did nearly 140 years ago, we are stepping into new territory.

Yet, while we step into new territory, who we are has not changed. The sign in front of the church will be changed (in time) to remove the Disciples of Christ name from it, but the sign does not define us. The newsletter heading has changed, but that heading doesn’t define us. What defines us has not changed.

We are still Flora First Christian Church …

We still “believe that Faith, Repentance, Confession, and Baptism, are steps into the Kingdom” (from the theological belief of the Church, November 1934). We still “observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week according to Apostolic precedent” (theological belief, November 1934).

We still share in the same purpose statement that is provided in our Articles of Incorporation: “The purpose of this church shall be as revealed in the New Testament; to win people to faith in Jesus Christ and commit them actively in the church, to help them grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ that increasingly they may know and do His will, and to work for the unity of all Christians and with them engage in the common task of building the Kingdom of God.”

Those who came before us desired to bring non-believers to Christ. They desired that those who came to Christ would become active in the church. They believed we were to help Christians grow in their faith and understanding of Christ. And they believed we were to work with other Christians – regardless of denomination or non-denomination – to build the Kingdom of God.

We still believe that today … and we have a lot of work to do!! We must start being more proactive in bringing people to Christ. We must start being more visible in our community and county. We must start being fishers of men, women, and children outside of our congregation. And we must work more diligently to spiritually grow those within our congregation. This is going to require us to think outside the box, to move outside the walls of our building, and do more than we ever have. As we have stated before, there is approximately 61% of Carroll County that does not claim any religious affiliation. It’s
time for us and Jesus to reduce that number.

This is the call that was given to us in the Scriptures. Our ancestors accepted that call in 1879. Will you continue to accept that call today?

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Kim