What do you think makes a church a living church? That may seem like an odd question, but I have been around not-living churches. They are pretty easy to spot. The parking lots have weeds growing up through the cracks. The bulletin boards have outdated notices and no one seems to notice, or apparently care. A lot of time and resources are spent discussing the preferences of the members. There is little expectation and little excitement. A not-living church looks inward and pretty soon what little life it has is gone.
This week Priscilla Joel is shadowing me. Priscilla is a student at ISU and she is thinking about becoming a pastor someday. Young people like Priscilla are the future of our church. She is shadowing me, but I am also learning a lot from her.
So I just asked her what she thinks makes a living church. Here’s what she said:
A living church is out there, in the community, serving, making a difference.
A living church invites younger people to be a part of the worship service.
A living church is adaptable, meeting emerging needs.
A living church keeps up with what is happening in society so that the worship services and the way the church engages with the world are relevant.
(She is obviously very smart.)
Priscilla is also a young person looking at churches, our church, and other churches. What does she see? Are we a living church? What are the challenges to our vitality? Are we brave enough? Bold enough? In the world enough?
Here’s the good news: we worship a living God, who is ready, willing and able to lead us always to greater vitality.
God bless Priscilla and God bless us as we all journey forward in faith. Amen.
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org.
We worship at 8:30 and 11 on Sundays and we would love to worship with you.
This week at WDMUMC:
Burger Night! Tonight is Midweek Refuel and supper is on at 5:30. Lots of activities throughout the church! You are invited!
Love Organ Music? This Sunday renowned organist, Carl Gravander, will perform at WDMUMC at 4 pm as part of our Music & More on Grand Concert series. A unique opportunity to hear great music.
Are we a living church? Monday at 7 pm Sarai Rice, Director of Des Moines Area Religious Council, will describe what it takes to be a living church. Sarai led our visioning process. She is fun and engaging and the visioning team wants the whole church to hear her. You are invited.