“Begin with the end in mind.” At the start of a new year, this nugget of wisdom seems an appropriate starting place. If I begin a project, or the year with a vision of how I would like to see it end, I can focus my resources, frame my choices and manage midcourse corrections more purposefully.
When I came to Los Altos UMC 4½ years ago, for instance, I had in mind a general vision of a church that would;
- Employ their gifts in ministry and mission
- Spend more time and energy in building disciples and transforming the community than in meetings,
- Field a staff whose primary focus was empowering the ministry of followers of Jesus and not seeking to do it for them,
- Create worship which reflects the gifts and language authentic of the present community and responsive to the heart of the next generation looking for a faith home, and
- Live from a heart of hospitality that welcomes the stranger, the seeker, and the wounded heart.
That general vision took on more character and personality, in the process of discovering the gifts and passions of the LAUMC family, your hopes and fears, your experience and heart.
And of course along the route, we discovered there were challenges to address, which required some remedial work. Among that remedial work was bringing our campus into ministry-ready condition.
As we begin this year of ministry together, I celebrate that together, we have moved toward the end to which God has called us. I think we can see that we haven’t reach “the end.” But with that hope in mind, I rejoice in the journey ahead. May we find new strength and energy to become the beloved community in the company of Christ, who is our beginning and our end.