By Pastor Peter Hanson
What is our “why?” Put another way, why does Christ the King exist as congregation in New Brighton, Minn. in the year 2016? This question—recently posed to the new Stewardship Team by our consultant from Kairos—ought to be at the heart of our discussions about our ministry at CtK. Why are we here? Why do we do the things we do?
Of course, there are many ways to answer that question—as well as many “hows” and “whats” that put the necessary flesh on the bones of that “why.” At the heart of “why” are these four major reasons we exist:
- We exist to proclaim the living God, to worship the risen Christ, and to discover and celebrate the movement of the Spirit among us.
- We exist to grow in our faith in Jesus Christ and to provide opportunities for such growth to our children and youth.
- We exist to be a force for good in our community, entering into God’s mission here in our neighborhood and around the world.
- We exist to care for one another, especially during life’s transitions, when we share pain, grief, and sorrow, as well as joy, hope, and faith.
Our mission statement helps unpack our “why.” We exist because we are guided by the Gospel, with a mission to make disciples for Jesus Christ by inviting and welcoming all to serve God and God’s people. Individually and as a congregation, we are called to gather, grow, and give—through our ministries of worship and music, faith formation, mission and service, and congregational care (ministries you’ll see highlighted throughout this issue).
What is our “why?” Why do we give? Perhaps the shortest answer is found in the title of this issue: “When we belong, we give.” When we consider ourselves part of something—part of a community, part of a movement, part of a ministry—we naturally give to support it.
We give because we know that when we belong to God, everything—our selves, time, and possessions—belong to God as well.
We give because we want to support the ministries we feel ourselves to be part of, that belong to us and to which we belong.
We give because these ministries are important to who we are as a congregation and we want them to continue.
We give because we want others to know that they belong to God; and that through God’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness, we belong to each other.
When we belong, we give to support the overall life, work, and ministry of our congregation. When we belong, we commit to support these ministries through our regular offerings, rather than continually seeking to support them through special appeals. When we belong, we work together to strengthen what defines us in our congregational identity and purpose.
What is our “why?” Why are we here? Why do we do the things we do? Why does CtK exist right here, right now? As we prepare for another year of ministry together, I invite you to continue to reflect on these questions with me and with one another.