When I was a member of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in NYC, our pastor proposed a simple equation for our discipleship: Worship Plus Two. That was to be our commitment: to worship and to inhale and exhale God’s love.
Our pastor believed that our worship commitment needed to be strong if we wanted to be grounded in God. That made good sense to me. Next, he strongly recommended that we get involved in a small group to inhale and be fed by our friends at church. So, I attended a study. Then he prescribed serving in outreach where we could exhale our many blessings into the world. So, I did that too. I joined the team that took worship services to the Bowery Mission on Sunday nights. We worshiped and fellowshipped with those who sheltered there. Eventually, I would preach my very first sermon at the Bowery. That was twenty-five years ago.
It’s good for me to think back on my time in the pews. And I think it’s wise for us to consider what resonates, like clever equations that illustrate a manageable process for our discipleship.
As we strategize, set goals, and pray about increasing the vitality of our congregations, I wonder if you have an equation or a formula to encourage your community, or maybe another way of unpacking the prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness we commit to.