Where do we go from here?

I’m staring at a calendar right now, and I don’t know what to put in it. Do you know what you want to put in yours? I feel a little hesitant because I did have lots of dates in there before- things like the crawfish boil, clean up day, Vacation Bible School… I had my own vacation in there and festivals Erin and I were excited to attend, but it was like a puddle in the hot New Orleans sun- it just vanished.  If you thought planning far in advance was hard before, welcome to 2020, where planning a month in advance is as certain as working pumps in New Orleans. 

I know what I want to put in the calendar- the dates and events of everything we will be doing as a congregation in the next six months, but putting them in means something different nowadays. Confirmation starting up- how does that work online? Bible Class over zoom- we did it, but how do we keep it going? Small groups, fellowship time, Family and Friends day- what will all of that be like?

Why is it so hard? Each even now depends on city regulations, the comfort of each person, the threat of rising infection rates, and more! How do we get the ministry work we have committed to do going at Crown of Life?

So where do we go from here?

There was a time that was chaotic back when King David first became king in Israel. Saul had just took his own life after being defeated by the Philistines. David took the throne but not only faced the progressing Philistines, but a challenge to his rule by the family of Saul. People rallied around the person they felt could best lead, but that led to infighting in Israel and made them more vulnerable to their enemies. If nothing was done it would be the end of Israel. 

Then there was a slight turn in events in this 1 Chronicles 12 account. Warriors started to join King David and unite for a common direction. There’s an entire list of them, but there’s one group that stands out to me

“From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders…. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take” (I Chronicles 12:32)

That would be great right now, no? They knew the signs of the times and how to best move forward in them. 

Ahh, moving forward would refreshing, but like the tribe of Issachar it’s important to understand the signs of the times. 

To know the signs of the times is more than headlines and tweets—it is knowing what is significant among the happenings of our world: events and movements, trends and ideologies, currents and worldviews. It’s knowing what is shaping us, forming us, molding us. It’s knowing that as human beings, we are now alive at a given moment in time; an era that is full of significance, positioned uniquely in the wider story of the world as the world moves toward the final chapter. (James Emory White)

Not only is it important to have our fingers on the pulse of the times but knowing how to respond. How should I live? How am I significant part of God’s plan for the world and salvation? How do I take my place in living out the life Christ has brought me?

Some of these questions we discovered in our weekly Bible class “The Calling.” We don’t push pause on our work, we take the opportunities God gives us today understanding that that we will always need to grow into our calling, so…

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Here is the beginning of moving forward. We grow. Understanding the best course to take does not come naturally, it takes growth. It means stepping up to answer questions like
… what’s the challenge of these times?
… where is the world in crisis?
… how have I been equipped to serve a world in crisis?
… how might I prepare myself for serving?

Moving forward at Crown of Life

It may be more of a challenge, and take more of an effort, but over the next weeks we plan to clarify and set a direction for ministry in New Orleans. 
Here’s a start for us. Explore the growth guide below. This is a living guide meaning it is not complete. There are things that will be added and it will continue to be updated to reflect the direction of the congregation.
My hope is that this will help us plot our course in the next few months so that we can rise to the call like the tribe of Issachar and have the wisdom to tackle the times in which we live.
God’s Peace