When we put this issue together, I was pondering what it means to be successful.
One morning, I took a break and went for a coffee in Winnipeg’s underground city beneath Portage and Main. Then I went up to the surface and wandered around.
In the area where our National Office is located, one can observe the privileged and powerful mingle with the destitute and desperate. The urban landscape reveals a city where some thrive while others struggle to survive. It is a place of opportunity and tremendous challenge.
As is often the case, the intersection was blustery and chilly. So I stepped out of the wind. As I sipped my coffee, I noticed I was standing across from the building that houses our offices. I looked for our place there and realized that as we’ve changed locations for our offices, we have become almost invisible, nearly anonymous. I found myself wondering if this is how success is measured.
Then I began to understand that I was looking at things the wrong way and asking the wrong question. Instead of thinking about success, I wondered why we want to be a church anyway?
I decided that we are a church because this is where God changes people’s lives. It’s true for me and I know a whole lot of others who would answer the same way. That’s why I keep doing the things I do.
I looked up at the building again. We are up there on the sixth floor because people are more important to us than prestige and property. This location uses our financial resources prudently so that we can do more with what we have. This enables those who serve through our National Office to lead this church in being and becoming a church that is In Mission for Others.
The missional church approach is one way that we are learning to be such a church. It helps us answer, “Why church?” and opens our eyes to the opportunities around us for changing lives. It may help you to answer some important questions.
Some items of interest in this issue that caught my eye:
Our synod sections reminded me again that we have a diverse and exciting church that is active in mission and ministry that is making a difference.
Serving the Homeless (Our Church in Mission, p. 6) provides a lot of challenges and opportunities for a congregation or anyone wanting to expand their mission horizons.
While thinking about people who are marginalized, a Bible study on the daughters of Zelophehad might be useful (Kindling: A Bible Study p. 15).
Just War? (Q & A p. 8) convinces me that we need some thoughtful and deliberate rethinking about our traditional response to war.
Making Music (Practising Our Faith p. 9) reminded me much thought goes into making music in our churches and how rewarding it can be.
Kenn Ward, Editor