Last night a group of St. Lukans gathered for the first of our mission discernment meetings. I was nervous, but to my absolute delight the conversation was incredible—fun, interesting, and uplifting. Honestly, I left the meeting with a bit of a glow.
We used a process called “asset mapping” which felt a little bit counter-cultural. Often groups begin to look for mission by asking “Where are we deficient?” or “What bases haven’t we covered?” That is, we find mission by looking to shore up our weaknesses. This new way of discerning mission looks instead for God’s call to us in our strengths.
Scripture tells us that God manifests the Spirit in us in our gifts. Put another way, the things we’re good at and passionate about are nothing less that God moving within us. God gives us these strengths—God moves within us and our community—expressly for the common good. Asset mapping leans into this idea: God’s call to us (our mission) is found in what we’re already good at, in our gifts.
So last night, that’s where we went looking. We spent some quiet time thinking about the strengths we have as individuals, as St. Luke’s, and in the wider community. Then we gathered all those varied gifts together, wondered at the multitude of them, and looked for themes.
To say the process was uplifting doesn’t begin do it justice. We, the community of St. Luke, possess so many gifts it’s staggering. We found a plethora of possibilities, an astounding assemblage of assets, a gargantuan gathering of gifts! I can’t wait to see what arises from it. I think it just might be our very own, God-given, Spirit-filled, community-serving, love-spreading superpower.
You still have a chance participate in this wonderful process and I hope you do. Two scheduled meetings remain: Sunday at 10:15 a.m. (shortly after coffee hour wraps up) and Monday night at 7:15. If you’d like to participate—and I hope you do!—please email, text, or call me so I can send you the Zoom link: firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-618-3826. If neither of those times work for you, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to figure out some alternate arrangements.
Last night was a joyful manifestation of God’s very real goodness toward us. I hope you make time to share in it.
Yours in Christ, Justin