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By Jim Sanderson
Special to The PREVIEW
I was recently watching a documentary about the life of Ronald Reagan, U.S. President. One thing that was said that really caught my ear was this: “If I tell people what they should be doing, that’s it. They either do it or they don’t. If I tell them what I believe, they will catch the vision and want to do it for themselves.” (Not an exact quote, but close).
So, I have begun to clearly state what I believe when I meet new people concerning the One Church of Pagosa Springs. “I believe our community will be a better place to live when the Church becomes one.”
My wife, Nancy, wanted me to explain how One Church is like a family. Well, of course we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, so that alone makes us a family.
But, she wanted to make clear to those who already have a congregation they belong to that the local congregation is our immediate family, and the One Church is our extended family.
Of course we know and love those we are close to, but we can also learn to know and love all other Christians as well. Seems simple enough, but it is usually along the lines of the local congregation that the Church is divided. Now we have permission not to divide along those lines.
People come first in One Church Pagosa Springs. (Nancy says when it is capitalized it looks like it is supposed to be something. Well, alright, it “is” something. It is a movement of Christians in our community seeking to unite that which never should have been divided in the first place).
People come first — not a program.
People come first — not an institution.
People come first — not a financial scheme.
What a concept: People Come First!
When it is capitalized it looks like it is supposed to mean something. People. Their stories. Their concerns. Their needs. We are allowing the people of God to be the Church.
Now, having said that, I wonder if you might have some ideas about how the Church united might benefit the believers. What can the One Church be doing to reach those who are not already believers, and to strengthen and encourage those who are?
Please e-mail your ideas back to us as soon as you can. (We usually start by asking, “What would it look like if we were living the Kingdom of God in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, right now, today?) Send in your dreams. Your vision. Your thoughts. We would like to put all your ideas together into a clear and concise action plan. How do we know how to get there if we don’t know where we’re going?
In putting together the vision for the future of the One Church Movement, we are focusing on the benefits that will be experienced by every believer in the Church. To that end, I have come up with four. Perhaps you could add some more, or help me refine the ones I am setting before you here:
1. Prayer support for every family. No one should have to struggle through this life without being prayed for.
2. Neighbors helping neighbors. You are not alone.
3. The needs of the community are met by the Church (not the government). By combining our resources and best efforts, the needs of our community can be met by the Church.
4. We care about you! Not your money. Not your “attendance.” Not your denominational affiliation. We are to care for one another as brothers and sisters.
Once we have an idea about what it would look like to actually be living the Kingdom of God in our town, then we can come up with a way of actually reaching those goals. I do hope you’ll think about this and send some ideas.