“Where are You Called to Lead?” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

October 18th,2018 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

This week we are so excited to have a guest preacher, Heaven Berhane who is a fierce voice for God’s love and justice. It will be a Sunday sermon you don’t want to miss. We also have many things happening in the life of the community but two I want to make sure are in your calendars. The first is the congregational meeting that is on November 11 which will be where we vote on the budget for the upcoming year (There will also be a budget hearing on October 28th for a more in depth understanding of the budget). Both the hearing and the congregational meeting are open for everyone. See me if you have any questions about either. But the second thing I want to mention is for all the kids and families in our community. Also on November 11th, after church,  The Children’s ministry leaders have created a wonderful event called “ThanksGIVING and RECEIVING” and it will be a gathering where you can bring your outgrown clothes and toys to church and swap them with others in our community who may need what you have or may have something you need. Anything leftover will be donated to Goodwill or another outreach partner. There will be light refreshments served and it will be a wonderful chance to come together and get to know each other a little better. There is so much happening in the life of the church. Make sure you follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with the latest happenings in our community.

This last month the Finance committee has been working hard on our 2019 budget. There have been some very long nights and some really fruitful conversations about the vision of the church. They talked about the history of the church, the future of the church, and how they see God at work in our midst. And while they are officially called the “finance committee” the careful and intentional way they have helped establish and create financially sustainable ministries, is a ministry in itself. Our finance committee are ministers of the church using their spiritual gifts to faithfully shepherd our congregation into a vision of sustainability and a hope for its growth. Which is why this week’s scripture is so timely. I believe in the priesthood of all believers, meaning each of us is given spiritual gifts unique to each of us, and then we are called by God to lead with those gifts in our faith, and wider, communities. Read this passage from Hebrews and then prayerfully consider what God is calling you to do.

5:1 Every high priest taken from among the faithful is appointed on their behalf to deal with the things of God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 The high priest is able to deal patiently with erring sinners, being likewise beset by weakness— 3 and so must make personal sin offerings as well as those for the people. 4 one doesn’t take on this honor by one’s own initiative, but only when called by God, as Aaron was. ”

What has God given you that makes you unique? What is God calling you to lead in our church, in your family, in our city, or in our world? I think often people get caught on this scripture thinking that it is calling people to what we traditionally view as ordained leadership. But for me, that is setting the bar too low. Each spiritual gift God places in each of us, is a direct call by God to be a leader with that gift. 1 Peter tells us “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” (1 Pet 4:10) and Romans says, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them” (Rom 12:6). Like Aaron, God is calling each of us to lead the church with our gifts.

Being able to name your gift is important but also hard. That is why faith communities are so wonderful. Communities help you see your gifts even when you can’t see them yourself. They help that light turn on and help you with your “Aha!” moment. Communities help you imagine what might be possible if you led with your gifts in a new way. A CPA may be great to look at our finances, but that person may also be a wonderful baker and could help out with coffee fellowship. Two very different gifts, but two very important roles of leadership and ministry. But like our scripture says, we can’t force it. It isn’t up to us what gifts we receive, but it is up to us how we choose to share them.

Friends, what is God calling you to share in our community? What gift do you have that can help grow this community of faith into the church God wants it to be? Maybe it is upping your weekly pledge by 5%. Maybe it is inviting your neighbor to church. Maybe it is sitting next to a new person in worship and making them feel welcome to our space. God gave each of us a spiritual gift (maybe many!) and our gifts are expected to be used to lead this community! God is calling you friend, are you ready to listen…and then share?

A short prayer for your week: Holy One, Like Aaron, you have called me to leadership. May the gifts you have placed on my soul be made known to me. May they be used to lead your people, inspire your community, and sustain your church. Amen.

Shalom Y’all.
Rev. Stephanie