Griffith Lutheran Church
1000 North Broad Street | Griffith, IN, 46319 | 219-838-1626

Growing Christ-centered relationships in our communities through love and service.

If you are new to the Northwest Indiana area, or if you are looking for a new place to worship, we invite you to make Griffith Lutheran Church your new church home.

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A Few Words from Pastor Scales...

August 2, 2015

Exodus 16: 2-4, 9-15; Psalm 78: 23-29; Ephesians 4: 1-16; John 6: 24-35

It can be puzzling to us when we hear the crowd to whom Jesus is speaking, asking Jesus what they must do to do God’s work. As you know the ELCA has an initiative of which we are becoming a part called God’s work, our hands. So in essence, the crowd to whom Jesus is speaking is asking, What must we do to be God’s hands?€¯

Do you remember what Jesus said? Believe in me. Believe that I have been sent from God. And then they said, What sign can you give us that you were sent from God. Moses gave us manna, what can you give us? And of course he said, Moses did not give you manna; God did. God has given you manna again, except it is me; I am the manna sent from God. I am the bread sent from God. I am the sign you are looking for.

Who knows if anyone understood what Jesus was saying? It is difficult even now to decipher it. Simply put, however, what Jesus said was, when we believe in him, and when we yield to our faith in him, then we become God’s hands; we will be doing God’s work, which is always for the good.

As we believe in Jesus and are doing the work of God, we will continually be fed through God’s spirit. Our spirit, our faith will not go hungry and we will not falter in our doing God’s work.

In the last few months, you have probably heard the word missional more times than you would like. In fact, you may not even really know what it means. If you read the most recent books on church dynamics, missional€¯ is the most used, if not perhaps, overused word. If it is not in the title, it is certainly in the subtext of the title and in the purpose of the book or article. You will find articles and books written about missional communities, missional leaders, missional worship, missional seating, and even missional coffee.

The reason missional€¯ is getting so much attention is because it takes us right back to the beginning of what it meant to believe in Jesus, our gospel of today. At the beginning of Christianity, when one believed in Jesus Christ, the first thing they did was to be Christ to others. Did you read in the July Newsletter my article where one of the speakers at the Indiana Kentucky Synod told us that we may be the only Bible that someone ever reads? That is what it meant for the first Christians. They were different. They lived in a community of God’s love and forgiveness. They lived believing that the Holy Spirit lived in them and directed their paths into goodness brought to their neighbor. They lived loving their God with all their heart, soul and mind and loving and treating their neighbor as Jesus had loved and treated them.

Soon, of course Christians started meeting in order to support one another and in order to hear the stories about Jesus and to share in communion with one another. Now, 2000 years later, we are being warned that our meeting together as Christians has become preeminent and our sharing God’s love through living our daily lives has taken a back seat. We are being told that attractional ministry has taken over missional ministry. Attractional€¯ ministry, of course focuses on attracting people to church. Missional€ ministry is not focused on attracting people to church but is focused on being in the community doing good in the name of Christ.

It has been written and said by many that a healthy church is both missional and attractional. A healthy church wants to bring people into worship because that is where the word of God is and a healthy church also wants to meet the needs of the community, because that is where the hands and feet of Jesus are.

Where is Griffith Lutheran Church, missional, attractional? Hopefully, with the leading and the guiding of the Holy Spirit, we will strive to be both.

Just remember though, when a church’s emphasis is primarily attractional, they are not necessarily missional. But when a church’s emphasis is primarily, but not totally, missional, they are attractional. Reaching out, brings in.

Amen,
Pastor Scales
 

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