David Ripley, President

David Ripley, President

Vision Statement #4

“God’s Vision for us is to: Provide area training for broad spectrum community service including health ministries”

Beauty and Light

I have always been fascinated by prisms. Taking what appears to be simple, one colour, white light and breaking it into a rainbow of colours is wonderful! It is a feast for the eyes. It draws attention, brings smiles, and attracts all who come within its sphere of influence.

Various Topaz Gems from Texas

Various Topaz Gems from Texas

I had a friend one time while living in Fredericksburg, Texas who would go out and find topaz. When discovered in the dirt it is not all that attractive. Once it is washed of its dirt it still has only a little appeal. But after he began to cut and facet the stone into many different angles it began to take on a new beauty. The cuts at different angles, polished to clear brilliance reflected the light and caught every eye within its sphere of influence. It was beautiful and everyone would pause to behold its attractiveness.

Our church is to appear in a similar way to the community around us. We are servants to our communities just as Jesus was a Servant to His.

This calls for a multifaceted, broad spectrum, ministry to those outside the walls of the church. This ministry will catch people’s attention and reflect the True Light.

They will see the loveliness of the Sun of Righteousness as it shines through the prism of the church, as it is reflected in a host of different ways by the facets of the church.

Love and Light

Why are we to be serving the community in a broad spectrum ministry of service to the community? Well, one reason is because Jesus told us to. But beyond that we should be serving the community for the same reason Jesus served the community. Jesus loved people! Jesus loved making their lives better. Jesus looked out across the crowds following Him and heart was moved with compassion.

How should we look at our community? Many times it is seen as something to fear.

Too often we look at other people as threats instead of people who Jesus loves. As God loves the community around us, we as disciples are called upon to value the people around us too.

God loves people, we should also love people.

Sharing our Light

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has developed many ways to reach out to the community. When Lynn and I were in direct pastoral ministry, even in a small church, we offered a broad spectrum of opportunities for people to get help. In our church that started out with 15-20 people this was possible with all the excellent resources the Adventist Church has available.

Some examples that we offered were: stop smoking seminars, healthy cooking, time management, stress reduction, weight loss, exercise classes, and parenting seminars.

Other churches we have pastored offered clothing giveaways, food for the hungry, Mom’s day out or play time for babies, a gardening club, or small group 5K race training. Offering Pathfinders and Adventurers clubs can surely be a service to the community and its children.

Our Adventist Church Schools often serve non-church member families. The Long Term Care Homes in Saskatoon and Winnipeg have strong opportunities to serve people and their families in many ways.

Spotlight on Health

You will see that in our Vision Statement #4 there is a special mention of health ministry. This is intentional. The Seventh-day Adventist Church from its earliest days has been a champion of health ministry outreach, often called the “right arm of the gospel.”

There is a reason that God has led us to be so health focused. Not only is it a great asset to evangelism, improving our health makes lives so much better!

Being well allows us to live longer and be happier. There is a spiritual element to this also. A healthy body is the best place for a clear mind. A clear mind is better able to understand God’s Word and the value of living in relationship with Him. Our connection with Him fulfills the purpose of our creation; to be sons and daughters of God!

Your Church’s Prism

So what about your church? Do you have a broad spectrum, many faceted community service outreach? Even if you are a small group you can serve your community in a Christ-like loving manner.

Start with one regular community outreach you can do well, make it strong and sustainable, then add another. Continue to grow in your service to the community.

Make many friends among the people around you. Seek to discover how to connect the people you serve to the God of heaven. You will be making friends for now, and eternity!

Your church can become a prism to display the beauty of the emerald rainbow throne of God in heaven. (Revelation 4:3) Your church can be a place where people see a jewel with many facets reflecting Jesus across your community! (Revelation 21:11)

Lord bless!

David Ripley, President

 

Mission & Vision_08AUG2016_Page_1_editLearn More: This article is part of a series focused on making the new Man-Sask Mission & Vision practical and applicable.

– Where did this Mission & Vision come from?
– How will it make a difference?
– How will it impact you?

Check out previous articles in the series here