Shepherd’s Care: Ingredients (2)

The ingredients of our mission include more than geography.  They include bearing witness to the two great commandments:  loving God and loving others.

As I have understood this more and more over the years, it’s amazing how both the message and the methods of historic Christianity have arranged and organized themselves in relation to these two commandments.

For example, the Benedictine Community (and St. Benedict’s Rule) is established and maintained by oratio et labora—worship and work.  Worship is the way the community lives out the first commandment and work is the way it expresses the second one.

From time to time, it is necessary and good for those of us who are spiritual leaders to step back and ask ourselves, “How am I being sure that the foundational ingredients of the Christian mission are being manifested in the community I oversee?”

We need to “uncomplicate” and “de-program” our ways of thinking and look around to see how worship and work are shaping our life together—in the congregation and in the world.

Every aspect of the church’s life (whether in macro or micro expressions) should contain these two elements.  They are the fundamental DNA of the Christian life.

How, for example, is a Sunday School Class or small group manifesting worship and work?  How do we represent it in the monthly Board and Committee meetings?  Etc.

Every dimension of our mission must “breathe” with worship and work, and in so doing, we become the Body of Christ—as a whole, and it its individual parts.

The Christian mission is knowing where to go (Acts 1:8) and what to do when we get there (worship and work).  Taken together, they form the spiritual infrastructure for a church God will bless.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books.
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