New Year… Old Expectations
Years ago, Lori bought a verse on a plaque that hangs on the wall in one of the rooms in our home. It is from Micah 6:8 which says, “…and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” I love that portion of Scripture for numerous reasons but one key reason is the principle that God doesn’t leave us hanging, wondering, confused, or unable to know what He’s about and what He wants! Certainly, Micah 6:8 is not the only place where we see what God is about and what He wants — we’re told by Jesus in the New Testament to repent and believe (Mark 1:15). Elsewhere in the Bible we read many other passages of Scripture that give direction to our lives (Colossians 3:1-17); the importance of following the Holy Spirit in the way we live, how we handle things and who our allegiance ought to be focused on (Ephesians 4:17 – 5:21) and on and on and on. I believe that through the Word of God and the Spirit of God, we can know many things about God, ourselves, others, and the days to come!
This past year one of our pastors made what might have been a side comment but still said that “the district just asks so much, you’re always wanting something.” I must admit I was taken aback at the time because this was in the context of asking for a reply by early September as to how the RMD Ministry Grant, given out at the District Conference in April, was being utilized — or what plans were in the works for it to be utilized. I realize I’m different than some, but if someone gave me at least $5,000 for church ministry purposes I doubt I would be complaining about having to share how it was being used for Kingdom purposes. I didn’t really respond to the comment, I just let it pass. However, it did get me thinking…..what does “the District” ask of our active official workers?
My list came out to be eight things! Maybe your list is longer, please share it with me. These are things that would not be normal courteous things like calling someone back who left a message, replying to an email, paying your bills on time, praying for your people and leaders, tithing to your local church, etc. Rather this list is specific to being licensed with The Alliance through the Rocky Mountain District. You may not like the list, but here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):
- Complete your local church Annual Report before the February 24, 2023 deadline (National Office item).
- Fill out a Continuing Education Report by January 13, 2023, if required (National).
- Lead your church in mission engagement by giving to the Great Commission Fund (National) and the District Advance Fund (RMD Office item).
- Attend IGNITE each fall and District Conference every other year (RMD).
- Complete your ordination or consecration in a timely manner (National and RMD).
- Attend Pastoral Growth Group (PGG) Meetings (RMD). Remember, if your church doesn’t reimburse your mileage, the RMD District Advance Fund will!
- Submit to Dexcom for approval, through the District Superintendent, any plans for property purchase or expansion of your facility in the amount of $50,000 or more (RMD).
- Read emails from the District Office, i.e. Missions News, Monthly RMD News, ministry-specific emails, prayer requests, etc. (RMD).
YES, it might be a new year but it comes with some old expectations. I trust these are not onerous to you and do not seem to be too much. Please remember that Mary, Scott, Chris, and I all desire to serve you as best we can. Feel free to call on us or invite us in to what is happening in your ministry. As 2023 blows in and 2022 rushes out we are reminded in Proverbs 19:21 that “many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” May the Lord bless you, your ministry, and the church you serve in 2023!