Elder's Perspective - New Year New Commitment

Berean Christian Church welcomes every new year with a congregational meeting that gives an accounting of the previous year. It goes over the books, talks about the numbers and the various ministry teams, goes over their accomplishments of the previous year. Those are fine things to do and we need to look back in some respects. It is good to see the positive to get encouragement and look closely at what we need to fix for the future.

However, if we dwell too much on past success we may miss the bigger point about being Christians at Berean or Christians anywhere. We are to look to the future, not just the past.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” - Psalm 23:6.

I think one of the implications of the verse is expressed in the word “follow”. It implies that we are not to be static in our Christian walks, but instead we should be in motion, ever moving, ever progressing. In other words, if we were expected to stay in one spot spiritually and physically, why would goodness and mercy have to follow us? Wouldn’t it just rest on us? This philosophy is not just relegated to the Old Testament either. There are around 60 verses in the New Testament that are about following Jesus.

In Matthew 4: 18 - 20 we see this played out in real terms when Jesus called a couple of simple fishermen to become Disciples. “Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”

We sometimes think that Christianity is motionless, but we see here that Jesus commands the brothers who would become Disciples to follow him. Could Jesus have given Peter and Andrew everything they needed while they pulled in their nets, sitting in a gently rocking boat? Of course he could, but actions were needed to fulfill God’s plan. Jesus spoke and they took immediate action.

So this year at the congregational meeting let’s relive some of the past successes and challenges we faced. But, let’s not dwell on them as we are tempted to do. Instead let’s look to the future and vow to follow immediately the leading of Jesus.

This may mean doing things completely different than what we normally have. It may mean failing and then learning from our shortcomings. But, it should also inspire us and give us new excitement for the possibilities.

So if you are a ministry team leader, try to include in your report what you and your team is hoping to accomplish in 2017. What success are you wanting to see and how you can accomplish great things for the Kingdom. Be bold, take chances and follow Him, knowing that he is following your every move with grace and mercy.

If you are a congregational member come to the meeting, but not just in the capacity of raising your hand and saying “aye” when prompted by Jim Siefert (he will be running the meeting). But, instead think of your role and how you can plug into a great and bright future at Berean.

The Annual Congregational Meeting is January 25, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the auditorium. Everyone is welcome and input appreciated.