The vision statement for Valencia UMC says, "We are a community of faith where lives are continuously transformed through Jesus Christ." We are definitely a community of faith, but have you ever witnessed lives being transformed by Christ as a result of their presence at our church? I can assure you that it's happening. I see it all the time. You don't have to be a pastor to observe this. You just have to be attentive.
Andy Stanley, the pastor of North Point Church in Atlanta, spoke at Catalyst West about how great leaders need to ask good questions. His church's vision is also about transformation so he wanted his staff to frame their ministry reports with a focus on how their various ministries were transforming lives. Now each staff meeting begins with the question, "What happened this weekend?" This question reinforces their efforts at keeping the main thing the main thing.
I have been asking this question at our staff meeting for a few weeks now and the responses confirm how Christ is at work through the ministries here by transforming lives. I invite you to share your stories with one another and with me. I am particularly interested in knowing when and how your faith has been stronger than your fears over the last month. Stories of transformation are one way to measure our effectiveness as a community of faith.
When I was a child, there was a public service announcement designed to prevent pedestrian accidents that ran during Saturday morning cartoons. It said, "Stop, look, and listen before you cross the street. Use your eyes, use your ears then use your feet." When it comes to noticing lives being changed by Christ, we would do well to stop, look and listen to what is going on around us. You can see and hear stories of transformation in Bible study and small group discussions, at fellowship time between services, and especially on service projects. Be sure to share your own story as well.
This Sunday, Rev. Jim Powell, our district superintendent will be here to finish out our No Fear sermon series with a message on how to live with fear, yet be unafraid. We will also honor our high school graduates. You won't want to miss this!
Hope to see you on Sunday!