As a pastor, part of my responsibilities is to impart vision. Our mission is what we believe we are called to do, the what. Our vision is how we accomplish our mission. Our mission is leading people to freedom in Jesus Christ. Our vision is to gather, grow, give and go.
The gather part of the vision is mostly about our weekend services where we come together to worship, to hear the word, to minister the anointing, and to connect with each other.
As a pastor, I encourage people to gather because I know the importance of a church service. In order for any of us to be restored or to connect or to grow, we need to come together. One part of the importance is the ministry we receive, another part of it is the ministry God receives and gives, and another part of it is the ministry we give to others.
In a church service, we worship. We encounter God’s presence. When we encounter God, His Spirit moves and we receive what we need from God. We can do this at home, but personal worship does not replace God’s plan for our group worship. We can’t neglect it. In the Old Testament the people came together on a regular, weekly basis and honored God in worship. It’s not a rule, it’s a relationship – a relationship that needs to be nurtured.
Part of being a pastor is making sure that I am hearing from God and receiving an anointing from God to share a message from God for our church, in our season. There are times when I bring in other teachers, evangelists, missionaries and other gifts because their message is for your good and the benefit of the church vision. That word could be something for you personally, but it could also be for us as a group. We should not think only of ourselves. Our church family is also our consideration and our responsibility. What God is saying to us as a group should be a message we want to hear and take care to listen to and apply.
We pursue the Holy Spirit in our services. Where the Holy Spirit is manifested, the anointing is there to minister. The anointing transforms our lives. We struggle to try to change ourselves, but we overcome when we position ourselves to receive God’s grace. As we come together in unity, that anointing can increase. We need to pursue the anointing for ourselves as well as for those in our church.
Worship services are a good place to connect, but we encourage you to grow in friendships through small groups and the step classes, where you can get to know a more close knit group on a deeper level. However, most of the church and our visitors will come for a weekend service. If you don’t come to services on a regular basis, you don’t have the opportunity to encourage someone else or welcome a new guest. We also share information and testimonies about the church that you miss if you aren’t there. Connection is important for you, and it is important to provide connection for others.
So when your pastor talks about coming to church, the vision to GATHER, please understand it is for your benefit and the benefit of those you could encourage – the worship, the word, the ministry, and the connection. I care about you and I look forward to gathering with you.