We, Through Christ, Know How To Do This

Christ Behind Us
Looking back, we see that God knows how to do this; how to transition God's people from one way of being to another. We see our spiritual kin from of old who exited slavery in Egypt, entered their transitional period in the desert, and then became a new people in Canaan. We look back, seeing this Church reform over and over, refocusing on Christ in the center. Looking back, we recognize God's people have transitioned in many small ways, plus major ways every 500 years (Thanks Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence). The evidence shows God knows how to transition the Church and the Church knows how to follow God's lead. Transitioning from one place to another is in our DNA (See Acts, Holy Bible).
Looking back, we see Christ behind us.

Christ Around Us
Remember all those Sunday School lessons?
Remember all those Sunday School lessons?
Remember all those Bible studies and courses?
Remember all those sermons and worship services?
Remember all the effort mature disciples poured into our lives to cultivate us as disciples?
All that, was to prepare us for now. This world desperately needs the gospel. This world desperately needs the love of God demonstrated through this peculiar community of faith we call church.
Now is the time for which we were cultivated. We know everything we need to know, are equipped with every gift we need, and are perfectly poised to be the proactive, forward-leaning Church who demonstrates God’s love in this hostile and broken world. The season of preparation is complete. If we do not rise up and be the Church now, we would miss our finest opportunity. God prepared us for now.
Look around, seeing that Christ surrounds us.

Christ Before Us
Fast forward to the year 2035.
Imagine we are gathered with other disciples, talking over what it means to be church.
They turn to you and say, “Tell us again what it was like. Tell us how you helped the Church transition from the Modern Era (pre-2000) to this Postmodern Era. Tell us what it was like during those first 25 years of this century. How did you do it? What part of our faith helped you the most? How did you help one another let go of worn-out paradigms and embrace this new way of being Church? Wow, you had such faith and courage. Thank you for shepherding this precious Church into what we get to experience now. Tell us the stories again.”

That’s our calling…to be those people. For whatever reason, these are the times of our lives. We are those Christ-followers who have the privilege of living during a major transitional time of epic proportions. We will be remembered as those who placed their faith in Christ, even over everything else which is familiar and dear. We are the Church Transition Shepherds for this transitional time.
Looking ahead, we see Christ before us.

Prayer of St. Patrick
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Mark Tidsworth
Pinnacle Leadership Associates