Privileged: Reflections on Midwinter 2013
Hope Weekly - 2/10/13
PRIVILEGED: REFLECTIONS ON MIDWINTER 2013
Did you ever attend church camps as a kid? I did. I have fond memories growing up of camps. Winter and summer camps were always high points in the year. I loved getting away from home, clearing my mind, hearing powerful preaching, moving music and having late night conversations with other Christians. I would usually come down the hill refueled, refreshed and renewed.
The conference our staff attended last week in San Diego, Midwinter 2013, was a bit like youth camp. It was a spiritual shot in the arm, a fresh dose of the Spirit. It was a time to connect with God and other Covenant pastors, to visit with old friends and meet new ones. It was also a time to tap into the heartbeat of the Evangelical Covenant Church, our denomination, and move forward as group of church committed to growing deeper in Christ and further in mission. It was awesome.
Here are three of the things that stuck out about the Evangelical Covenant Church:
1. We are Becoming Larger and Increasingly Multiethnic
In a time in history when many denominations are shrinking, we are experiencing steady growth. Over the past 20 years we have doubled in size thanks to church planting and church revitalization efforts. We are also becoming an intentionally multiethnic church, which means we are seeing greater diversity among our denomination leaders and churches—particularly among Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and African Americans. It was exciting to meet pastors from minority cultures throughout the week and hear how their unique cultural stories all contribute to the Covenant church.
2. We are Committed to the Whole Mission of the Church
The ministries and churches in the Covenant are committed to the heart and head. We are preaching the gospel and helping the poor. We are fighting hunger in the Congo and starting churches. We believe the gospel is for our city, community, nation and the entire world (Acts 1:8), and we are investing in all of these places simultaneously. This especially comes through in what is known as our “five strategic priorities,” which are to:
- Make and Deepen Disciples
- Start and Strengthen Churches
- Develop Leaders
- Love Mercy and Do Justice
- Serve Globally
The Covenant is seeing alignment and effectiveness around these priorities in recent years. To see a message from our President about how we are accomplishing these priorities watch this short video. Click here to watch this short video.
As I was coming “down the mountain” last Friday I was thanking the Lord for the privilege our church has to be a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church. We are better together, and I promise you God is doing amazing things through the Covenant. Continue to pray that we would be “found faithful” of what God has called us to. (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)