Growing up I would hear stories of how my mom's family would sit in the upper auditorium behind the stage every two years at World Conference waiting to hear where my grandfather was assigned. The minister and families did not know until announced on if they would be uprooted out of their current lives or be able to stay in their current fields.
My grandmother and mother have both talked about how nerve racking it was. One year in particular my grandfather was moved unexpectedly to Texas. I cannot imagine the entire world conference body of the church finding out the news that would change your families life forever at the exact same time as you.
Some of the moves were needed and had tremendous success while others altered families lives in negative ways. Part of this was the belief for the minister to have the faith to say "I will go where thou tells me to go." This blind faith to step out into the unknown was expected. What great trust they had and yet I believe faith doesn't always have to be blindly led.
I think back on this story and amazed at the ministers for being willing to risk everything in what they believed. However I am also somewhat ashamed for how the church treated their ministers and families. Luckily the church has understood that its really about our own personal callings and changed those practices to be more inclusive of the ministers life convictions. Lets look briefly at faith and how it impacts our lives.
Our Understanding of Faith
Faith is the complete trust or confidence in something or someone. Trust is the word that stands out to me. Relying on something outside ourselves. To push away our own thoughts and fears and walk in the unknown of our futures. Everyday we walk not knowing what will happen and yet we trick ourselves into believing we are in control. We try hard to keep everything in a box just how we want it and yet over and over again life happens. Giving away that control allows us to walk in faith and open ourselves up to divine inspiration.
And yet I do not believe we have to blindly step forward. God wants us to be well informed and feel the calling in our lives. Preparation by researching, planning, and collaborating are essential steps in bringing forth something positive to society. When we think about faith this way it is understanding that God made us with gifts to be used in various ways. We are a part of understanding how those gifts will impact the world. It's not some giant already perceived plan but a continual moving forward with divine inspiration in creating something special. We are creating with God and moving out with the notion that God is with us and always has been.
Community of Christ believes God still talks today and is present with us trying to create a world of peace. God calls us to be living witnesses in this world creating inclusive communities that welcome all people. Sometimes we become too comfortable in our lives. We come up with concerns, reservations and other reasons why something shouldn't be done, or we shouldn't do that. We take the easy, routine road instead of risking something something new. Sometimes we just need a disruption. This video by missional leaders shows a great prayer about how life can take control of us instead of allowing ourselves to be the vehicle in life to make change.
God, where will your Spirit lead today?
Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.
Grant me courage to risk something new
and become a blessing of your love and peace.
Go out there and risk something new this week!
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting. They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation. They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response. They support sacramental ministries by preparing people for baptism and/or confirmation, presiding at sacramental services, and performing most sacraments. They promote community by inviting individuals, households, and families to respond to Christ’s call to discipleship. They promote justice and peacemaking by inviting people to experience all aspects of Christ’s peace through active discipleship. They create ministry partnerships with mission center officers, apostles, elders, and evangelists.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.