Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/17/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Wichita Central Avenue UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita First UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita First UMC
Wichita West District
Norwich UMC
Wichita New Covenant UMC
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

If you can’t preach like Peter, if you can’t pray like Paul, just tell the love of Jesus, and say He died for all. There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul. -- The United Methodist Hymnal # 375, Afro-American Spiritual; adapted and arranged by William Farley Smith, 1986

Today's Devotional

To me, I think one of the best books for current ministry and post- pandemic (if we ever get there), is “Canoeing the Mountains” by Tod Bolsinger. Like Lewis and Clark, we’ve been climbing this mountain (COVID, racism, food insecurity, inadequate housing – you name it) for way too long. Like them we have reached the top of the mountain (for some issues years and years ago) and the other side is not anything near what we expected it to be. What Lewis and Clark saw was trees and rocks – not water! They had to throw out their plans and rethink how they would conquer this mountain. 
Each of us, every house of worship, are standing at the top of the mountain. We cannot continue to stand there! Everything has changed and it’s time for experimental innovations in what and how church is. The world is moving and changing, people’s priorities are changing, work is changing, you put a name to it, and it is changing – yet we as the church are not doing anything innovated in reaching new disciples.
Like Lewis and Clark, we must find a new way to make it down the mountain. It’s time for a new plan – and it starts with us giving each other permission to be in ministry. Jesus gave each of us the same measure of authority to go into the world and share God’s grace. Believe me, He will give us the words to use!
To begin our journey over the mountain, Bolsinger gives us four guidelines to follow:
  • Start with conviction – ask yourself where you are on your own discipleship path? What are you passionate about when it comes to being Christ-like? What drives our church, is it the structure of how and who does anything, or is it the mission to make disciples for the transformation of the world?
  • Stay calm – realize now that the way we’ve always done things will not work now. Grieve with holy privilege. Admit you will fail. Gain a sense of urgency, because the world and everybody else is not going to wait on the church to catch up. We stay calm as we abide with God, when we give Him the open door to our souls. 
  • Stay connected – there is no way that just one person can lead us over the mountain. For us to put mission first in how we are being the church, we all must stick together. We must dream together, attempt together, fail together, and be relational. Bolsinger says we must be connected and be a relational community so we can accomplish a shared mission.
  • Stay the course – the course that the entire congregation intentional puts together. There will be hard times. People will get mad at one another. People will leave. People will come. Once you are committed, you cannot turn back – it will never be the same.
-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Disaster Response Coordinator

Prayer for Reflection

Father, we give You thanks today for Your guidance during new times. Empower us to step off the mountain top into unknown territory. Give us wisdom, courage, and strength to think broadly. Thank you, Lord, that it is a new day and a new way. Amen.


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