I am proud of Marine View. We have faced the hard work of change head on. Together we have pushed forward with a compelling new vision as we seek to make disciples by mobilizing people to go deeper with Jesus and reach wider with His love.
The legacy of faithfulness found throughout our history serves as the building blocks for an incredible future as we each work to build up the body of Christ and take up our place in God's incredible story.
It's an exciting day in our life together at Marine View. It's an exciting day for me personally as a growing leader and pastor. As a congregation, we are emerging from a significant season of transition and change and are poised for a vibrant future as God moves and works in our midst. As we enter this new season, I want to offer a couple of reflections as we embark on the hope-filled adventure of living out our God-given vision and mission together.
First, thank you for the opportunity to serve alongside you in the work of the gospel. It is a privilege and a calling that I hope to enter into with great passion, purpose, joy and humility. I long for us to be a flourishing church that makes disciples of Jesus Christ, and it will take all of us working faithfully together as a team, with a firm reliance on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit moving amongst us, for that to happen. The work of the gospel involves self-sacrifice, an eye toward the experience of those outside the church, and a deep longing to see God's story come alive in our world.
Let me offer a few thoughts for those of you who have sacrificed and made room for significant change in our life together at great cost to your personal preferences, particularly when it comes to the style of our worship services. On behalf of the congregation, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your willingness to face the hard work of change. I am grateful for the journey we've taken together. Not every church community is willing to undergo the pain-filled process of change. Some communities, sadly, would rather slowly fade away than make the sacrifices necessary to embrace new generations. It is my belief that future generations at Marine View will look back with gratitude in their hearts on this season of transition and your willingness to face the hard work of change. If you've sacrificed and experienced the pain of change, your loss is real, and your sacrifice is a vital part of what has enabled Marine View to move forward into a vibrant and flourishing future. Thank you for the important part you play in God's story at Marine View.
An eye toward the experience of those outside the Church
For those who are newer, you also have an important part to play in the story God is writing at Marine View. Not only do I want to see you grow in your life as a follower of Jesus, I long for you to jump in and get involved in the mission. Because you are newer, you can help us see and navigate the challenges of welcoming and making space in our life for those God will call into our midst. Your fresh perspective and experiences matter greatly as we seek to create an environment where people can wrestle with the big questions of life and faith without pressure or judgment. We want people to experience permission to be where they are so that they are free to ask and answer, "who is Jesus and what does Jesus mean for my life?" If you are newer to Marine View, don't be content to sit on the sidelines - get involved and take up the place God has in mind for you as part of his story. Help us navigate the challenge of reaching those outside of the church with the good news that God loves them.
A deep longing to see God's story come alive in this world
If you've been a part of Marine View for a while and you've experienced the ups and downs of these past few years of transition, I want to thank you for your faithfulness and to challenge you to keep moving forward. This is not the time to take a deep breath and say, "Ah...finally, now we can relax and take a break from the hard work of change." In fact, I would urge the opposite. Instead of sitting back and resting from the work of change and innovation for the sake of God's mission to seek and save the lost, let's keep moving forward with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Let's continue the work of becoming disciples of Jesus Christ who in turn go out and make disciples of Jesus Christ, who serve and love and care and make a difference in the world in Jesus' name. Now is the time to press on toward the prize, to finish the race, to continue the good work that God has begun in our midst. Now is the time for faith to come alive. Let's move forward with hope and purpose together using the unique gifts, passions, and abilities God has given us for the sake of his mission.
The work before us is clear. Become a flourishing church that makes disciples of Jesus Christ. Create environments where people are mobilized to go deeper with Jesus and reach wider with his love. Build strong relationships and live in community with messy, broken people on a journey just like we are. Love. Serve. Forgive. Sacrifice. Press on.