As I mentioned in the sermon on December 31, we have adopted a few “resolutions” as our mission for this body of believers. We are resolved to love God, to love others, and to make disciples. These resolutions are nothing new to the church; they have been the church ?s top priority since Jesus commissioned the first disciples. But the church has not always done a good job historically in those areas.

We know that we need to love God and others and to make disciples, but when we don ?t do it well, we tend to focus more on being remorseful rather than fixing it. While that ?s probably a healthy beginning, it doesn ?t get the job done. And so, let me offer a few suggestions about how we can refocus our lives in such a way that we can meet our resolutions.

First, we need to remember that the resolutions were made by one body, the church. We need to do our part as individuals, but the responsibility rests on the whole body.

Second, we need to create an environment, an atmosphere that screams “community!” or “family!” We need to focus on our resolutions as a body with many members doing their part in the greater task. We ?ve been doing better building community within smaller groups, but we ?re still struggling with a church-wide sense of community.

Third, we need to identify and build upon our strengths. With such a large community of diverse people, both within and outside the church, it ?s easy to adopt a scattered approach to ministry and community life. Unfortunately, that approach gets ineffective very quickly, and when you draw in a lot of people with something you can ?t maintain, the ministry fails.

In 2007 watch for opportunities to grow as a community. We will be launching a new approach to ministry through teams. We will be building up our smaller groups. We will be increasing our opportunities to fellowship and grow closer together. Let us continue to grow together as a body, as it says in Hebrews, encouraging one another and spurring one another toward love and good deeds.