One of the things impressed upon me by my seminary education and my subsequent years as your pastor is that I’m not as smart as I want to think I am. The saying is very true: The more you know, the more you know how much you don’t know. So, I try to make learning a way of being, and I hope some of that rubs off on the rest of the congregation. It’s kinda fun, actually! When you lose the assumption that you already know it all, life is full of new discoveries, exploring the reaches of God’s grace brand new every day.
Two years ago, we were frantically trying to get you to sign on to read the Bible together. We had an audacious goal to have 85% of the regular worshippers sign on. We exceeded that goal and about 120 of us read the Bible together. But we weren’t just reading. This was reading with purpose. We earnestly wanted to hear God speak to us through his word. He did that, and we met together in groups to talk about it. We found those words of God being spoken through us among the members of our church. As we grew in confidence, we found it easier for those same words to be spoken to those who aren’t used to hearing God’s voice. Think of it, God was speaking through us!
GodSpeak was developed as a program. Programs are nice, because they have a definite purpose, and usually a definite beginning and ending. GodSpeak seemed to work that way. Start in Genesis, end in Revelation two years later. Start, finish, done. Done? Does that sound as strange to you as it does to me? Finish? Should we “finish” listening to God speak to us? Are we ever “done” speaking to others what God has spoken to us? Sure, reading the entire Bible has been quite the program. From Genesis to Revelation, it’s taken us two years, but GodSpeak is more than a program.
It’s a Process
I had hopes that GodSpeak would make a difference for our church. I didn’t realize it would develop into something that would define how disciples are made here. See, I’m still learning! GodSpeak is a process, a discipleship process. How can you develop as a disciple of Jesus without hearing him speak to you? By integrating daily Bible reading, weekly groups and Sunday worship into the fabric of our church, we’ve made GodSpeak the means by which every member of our church can grow in discipleship as God speaks to us and through us. That’s why on September 19, 2011 GodSpeak will continue as we read the Gospel of John together as a congregation. We’ll keep meeting in our GodSpeak groups, and gathering on Sunday with the whole church. By God’s grace we will grow in faith, hope and love as Jesus’ disciples who make disciples for him in our church, neighborhood and world.