Great Plains United Methodists have entered the Fresh Expressions movement recently. Fresh Expressions are a means of moving the church into the community where it resides. Many Great Plains staff members and hundreds of church members across Kansas and Nebraska have taken part in trainings and Vision Days to dream big for how our churches can better serve our communities.
A key part of moving beyond the walls of the church is the discernment of who God is calling the church community you’re part of to be in ministry with in the coming weeks and months.
One practice of discernment is engaging your community with fresh eyes and asking God’s guidance in seeing the people who are not being seen. Walk, drive or ride your bike through your community, asking God to show you new people and to notice new things you have driven by, perhaps, for years.
When God gives us new eyes to see the people we have lived with or been near for years, then perhaps God will open our hearts to get to know them and to see them as God sees them — as children of God and people of eternal worth.
Almighty God, you have created all people and all of creation. We give you thanks for this gift we’re invited to engage with hope, joy and love as your disciples. Open our hearts and our eyes to see our communities as you would have us to see them. Help us to find courage to sit and hear others when so often we want to be heard first. You are good and you are gracious, O God. Let us see all people as children of you, who created us all. It is in the name Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Engage your community with a heart to see it anew and to see the people. Pray to God to open your heart in such a way, both individually and as a community, to find the courage to engage those you’re called to be in ministry with today and tomorrow.
Photo courtesy of Topeka Community Foundation.