Faith Stories: Keep Our Vision Growing
Last week Kathy King shared some of the key points in the life of St. John’s since it was chartered in 1961. Today we are looking at keeping our vision growing.
Yes, we remember our past, we look at where we started and where we have come to today. We also do a little dreaming about where it is we want to go into the future.
Our past is history. We can’t change it. It is where it is. But we shouldn’t dwell upon it. We must remember the good part of it and learn from the bad parts of it. We shouldn’t continue to have things the way they were or are, but to get on with the life of the church in order to serve God’s call upon us.
So having said that, what does that mean? It means that for some 50+ years, almost 60, we have been doing God’s work here at the corner of Reneé Drive and Highland Road. I think you would agree with me that we have done a really good job of answering the call placed on our hearts in the beginning. By God’s Grace, we have some wonderful foundations from which to build our future.
And what is God calling us to do today in order to prepare for tomorrow? Our mission statement says that “we are a Christian community called to share our gifts through worship, witness and service so that others will know God and become disciples of Jesus Christ.”
We now have an expanded worship facility with the recent addition of the Narthex. This is a beautiful space to welcome visitors and new members to St. John’s. We have also remodeled the gymnasium and added air conditioning making a wonderful and useful Family Life Center. This gives more space to have church family functions and community events. It also adds to our mission of feeding the people by giving us more space to serve our clients at The Shepherd’s Market.
We also need to be good stewards of these new and expanded facilities, as well as the older parts of our campus, in order to represent God’s message of loving all who come into our midst. We must present a clean, well-kept location to all those who pass by our property. Being good stewards of all these facilities and keeping them in good repair must be a priority.
God calls us to serve and love our neighbors. We need to continue to service all of our missions and grow the opportunities to serve. We do a good job today of serving our various communities, and last Sunday we saw the many missions we are involved in at our Missions Fair. We do a lot to serve God, the surrounding community and the world at large.
All in all, God wants us to give our best, be our best as we present His word and be His disciples here in South Baton Rouge. To do that at the present time and to look into the future, we must continue to support the financial needs to prepare for tomorrow. God has called us here to South Baton Rouge. This is a fertile area, and there is a bountiful crop to be harvested, to grow His kingdom. We must put forth our best effort to have success.
We still have a debt to service and support, so this year we are asking for second-mile giving in addition to our regular annual budget appeal. By freeing up our debt, it gives us more opportunities to serve God in more and different ways.
I must admit that when we first started talking about raising $1.5 million, I was scared to death. In fact, I stood in front of you and admitted just that. I didn’t have much faith that we could come close to this goal. You could say I was a nay sayer. But I embraced the challenge and prayed fervently that God would provide as He has done in the first 50 plus years of our life. Thanks to our friends and members we met about two-thirds of that challenge in the three years of the pledge campaign. We walked by faith and not be sight.
So I urge us to pray earnestly and sincerely and ask for God’s help as we come into this time of commitment. By the Grace of God let us be the best disciples for Jesus Christ that we can be, next year and the years after, right here in South Baton Rouge. Remember, when we walk by faith and not by sight God will and does provide.