I was so blessed to spend a quick 21-hours with all our GCR shepherds and ministers at a leadership retreat this past weekend at the beautiful The Way Retreat Center just outside Midland. From 5:00 Friday afternoon until 2:00 on Saturday, we committed to worshiping together, praying for the GCR church family and for one another, bonding through shared mealtimes and a few silly games, and discussing seriously together the call of our Lord for his people at Golf Course Road.
The main topic of the weekend was fostering a culture at GCR so that we more regularly experience the transforming power of our God. How do we facilitate an atmosphere in which we are more aware of God’s Spirit and the work he is doing to change us into the image of Christ? Can we create more opportunities, can we lean into more circumstances in which our people are drawn closer to God and think and behave more like Christ? We talked and prayed together about the realities of our situation at GCR – the strengths of our congregation, things that might possibly trip us up, questions we have about the present and the future. We shared personal stories about God’s transforming work in our own lives. We dreamed and brainstormed together about what’s next. And we talked realistically about our potential.
The question started out as “What is GCR poised to do better than any other church in Midland?” We were trying to identify our strengths and passions – what we’re good at, what we really enjoy doing, what we’re equipped for – and how it might be used to advance the Kingdom here locally and around the world. Several things were mentioned with enthusiastic and unanimous response. But then something was said that resulted in puzzled expressions on most of our faces. Are we really poised right now to do that? Is it ready right now? Is it really something we can do immediately? To which someone graciously allowed: “Well, we’ve got the potential to be poised.”
And that turned into the catch-phrase of the weekend. The potential to be poised. We’re not ready yet, but the potential is there. We have the potential to be poised to restructure this or re-imagine that. At 10:00 Saturday morning we had the potential to be poised for lunch. I think Mauri’s already designed a T-shirt.
I feel very privileged by our God, and supremely blessed, to be the preacher at GCR with so many good shepherds and ministers. It was such an encouragement to hear the hearts of these people who love the congregation so much, who’ve given their lives to serving our Lord Jesus and his precious people, who care so deeply for the great history of GCR and are eager to work hard for the glorious future. These same people who take so seriously their calling and their ordination, who pray so fervently and minister so tirelessly, and who will play a game of musical chairs in which the loser has to eat a big spoonful of a random jar of baby food and the winner gets to choose a book by William Willimon or Eugene Peterson. A great weekend in a beautiful setting with some outstanding Christian leaders.
May our God bless us richly with his wisdom and grace as we lead his people at GCR. And may his holy will be done in and through his church here just as it is in heaven.