Keys of the kingdom
Using “Our Calling” in Fresh Expressions
When working on any church project, we are usually aware of what our main focus is. We may be developing a new act of worship, or serving the community. We could be seeking more followers for Christ or nurturing the faith of those in the church already. But building the kingdom is never compartmentalised like this: we are always doing all of these things, but are not usually aware of it.
He was a quiet volunteer, and all he wanted to do was clean the church (service). Of course, people often came in while he was there on his hands and knees and he chatted to them about faith, and why he served in this way (evangelism). Often they would share things about themselves, and he would listen and help where he could, or share in a prayer (learning and caring). At all times he remembered that his very existence was part of the love of God, and that his work was dedicated to the glory of God (worship).
Any project building the kingdom can be richer and more fruitful if we remember that all these things are present in our work, even if some are more obvious than others.
We may think we are serving when we help in the coffee lounge, but we are witnessing to those who visit (evangelism), and helping other volunteers to grow in discipleship (learning and caring). The whole activity is an expression of our love for God (worship).
It’s like a bunch of keys: we may be using one key to open the door, but the others are there on the keyring jangling beside.
Our Calling Keyring
Photocopy the images of keys on to card, cut them up, punch holes in the end, and mount them on a key ring (string will do). It is best if you use coloured card and enlarge to A4: you can even get them laminated for strength.
Use them in worship, in meetings or during events to remind everyone involved that all these four things are happening all the time. You can also ask people to identify which key represents what they are mostly doing, and how the other three are present.
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission. It does this through: Worship, Learning & caring, Service and Evangelism. For more information on “Our Calling” contact Matthew Reed, District Development Enabler or visit www.methodist.org.uk.
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