So What Does Matter Most?

Ben Smith

There are many issues that could easily consume the time and
energy of the church. However, the challenge before a prophetic people is to
discern and pursue what matters most for the journey ahead.
Doctrine and Covenants 163:11b

    So what does matter most?  President Veazey (AKA Fasheezy) in
his message to the church this April said that the “vision and mission of Jesus
Christ is what matters most!  What matters most is for us to become who God is calling
us to become so the restoring ministry of Christ can be shared in every
possible way in every possible place.
”  So what is our response to
this challenge?  How can we share this restoring ministry?Ben Smith Didgeridoo

    In Australia, one of our main restrictions (and blessings)
is our geographical area.  A country of 21 million people, the same physical
footprint as the USA, and a church with an attending population of 470, there
are some obvious obstacles we face with getting together regularly.  Our young
adult (YA) activities usually occur in our individual cities.  In saying that,
there are CofC YA’s spread across the whole country.  Another obstacle is the
distance we travel to get to a physical congregation.  Let’s take where I live
as an example, Perth.  Last Sunday more than half the congregation traveled over
40 km. to attend worship.  This is true for many groups within our church.
Taking these few obstacles into account, let’s then look at the above
challenge, to share the restoring ministries of Christ…in every possible
place.

    We often focus on ministries that flow from our church
building, citing the community building element of our calling.  In doing so, are
we overlooking the value of being Christ in the communities in which we live,
work or study? When thinking about the
way that Jesus spread the Good News, we see that he spent a lot of time out in
the community, rather than saying “Here I am! Come and join my community over
here”. This is not to downplay the importance of building communities around
our church buildings, rather on the contrary.  We are called to share the
restoring ministries of Christ in EVERY possible way, in EVERY possible place.

    Restoring ministries I hear you ask, what are they?  I think
the answer lies in the definition.  To restore means to return something to its
original condition, or to regenerate life back into something. The restoring
ministries of Christ, I would then conclude, are things that bring us to a place
where we are whole again, through our relationship with God, ourselves, our communities,
and with our earth.

    Our challenge as young adults is to encourage change within
our communities: a change that brings about actions that restore souls to a
right relationship with God.  Be brave, have faith, and let’s join together to
share the vision and mission of J to the C.

Ben is
a full-time minister for the Community of Christ in Perth, Australia. His role
is based around community outreach and youth/young adult ministries. He is
studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theology and Community Development. His
interests include long walks on the beach and riding his kangaroo to
work.

 

What’s Your Perspective?:
How is your congregation doing “what matters most”?   What kind of restoring ministries do you support?

2 thoughts on “So What Does Matter Most?

  1. Ben says:

    Hi Tacy,
    Thanks for your post.
    To answer your question, I didn’t write the “Whats your perspective” questions.
    I love what you said about “As community, everything can get taken care of.” I think we often feel like we have to do everything, we all have to be out at a soup kitchen, or counselling drug addicts etc. rather, if one person is doing this, we then should support them in doing so. I just ran a series of classes here with ours adults around the ideas of mission and witnessing. The result was them coming up with areas in which they felt passionate about; where they could be missional ministers in their communities, and how we as a congregation could support them in fulfilling that call.
    You said you have to do what you feel called to do; I think this is such a valuable message. If our congregations can adopt this as a core value, maybe, just maybe, we will erase some of the feelings of inadequacy that ‘we aren’t doing enough’?

  2. Tacy says:

    Ben,
    Thank you so much for a wonderful post and for articulating some of the same thoughts/concerns/hopes that I have had (and I don’t mean riding a kangaroo to work although that does sound intriguing).
    I really like your emphasis on “every possible way.” I also think that thinking in terms of community is important in this respect. I, personally, for example can’t offer and shouldn’t offer every type of ministry. I have to do what I am called to do, and even if a ministry need exists, it may not be mine to fulfill. I have to use my resources as a good steward. Yet there are others who are gifted and called to serve in other ways. As community, everything can get taken care of. However, I also think we limit community to meaning a congregation, or something like that. If we look at the natural world, there are many forms that community can take, from a partnership, to sports fans, to a small group, to bloggers who never meet, etc.
    I’m not sure if you wrote the What’s Your Perspective questions or not, but it seemed a little strange that after you had just done a great job talking about sharing Christ in every possible way that the emphasis was again on what the congregation is doing. Nothing wrong with congregations, as you so aptly stated, but I think that when they become the main emphasis for how ministry does and should occur, that “every possible way” quickly becomes limited.
    Again, thanks so much for your post and blessings on your ministry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s