M-Note // 07.13.12 // Rev. Matt Miofsky
Dear Gathering Community,
This morning I had coffee with the head of one of the leading private elementary schools in St. Louis. In education circles he is respected and known; authoring articles, speaking at conferences and offering counsel to others. We have gotten together now on a couple of occasions and he is rapidly becoming one of my favorite persons to talk with. He is not a churchgoer and I am no expert in education. We know little about one another’s particular disciplines. Our worlds do not naturally overlap (nor do they ever have to). Yet when we talk, we find unexpected commonality between the challenges and opportunities he faces leading a school and the ones I face leading a church. We sympathize with each other’s pain, are intrigued by each other’s questions and are encouraged by shared wisdom. We met quite unexpectedly, but each time we are together, I learn and grow as a leader. In the New Testament, Paul takes under his wing Timothy, a younger and less experienced leader. They travel together sharing challenges, wisdom and encouragement. Some of this wisdom is left to us in Paul’s letters to Timothy. Their witness, along with my conversation this morning, remind me of how important it is for me as a young man, father, husband and leader to have mentors. I need people sharpening my curiosity, asking me questions, challenging my assumptions and encouraging me in my journey. I found that over a cup of coffee this morning, and realize how much I need it. Do you have such relationships? Do you have mentors or associates that serve such roles in your life? If not, seek it out. It will turn out to be an unexpected gift!
Decisions, Decisions: What is your process for making hard decisions? Do you go with your gut? Make a list of pros and cons? Do you seek the advice of others? This Sunday we will finish our series on God directed decision-making. This weekend, I will teach what scripture has to say about the role of friends in our decision making process. I will also challenge us to think through the effects and consequences of our decisions. In preparation, I urge you to read some verses from the book of Proverbs. Traditionally attributed to Solomon, Proverbs is full of pithy and practical wisdom that speaks honestly and directly to many of life’s challenges. Check out what Solomon says about friends and the role they play in our decision-making by reading Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 13:20, Proverbs 15:22, and Proverbs 19:20. Don’t forget if you missed Part 1 last week, you can catch up here in time for Sunday!
Membership: We are constantly striving to make it easier for people to connect with our church and deepen their faith through our ministries. This summer, we have worked hard to revamp our membership process. Many of you have been attending The Gathering for a while and are wondering what the next step is. Others of you may have written membership off as unnecessary. Beginning this Sunday, July 15, we will launch a two-week membership class. It will be available each month and is an excellent way to learn more about The Gathering’s unique mission and vision. Whether you know you want to be a member, or are just curious to learn more, I urge you to join me for this opportunity. It’s not too late to sign up to get in on the July class, so for more information check out our website.
We Love Kids: I want to celebrate something with you. As many of you know, Leslie Damann joined us a little over a month ago as our new Family Ministry Director. We are aggressively working to improve all aspects of our ministry with families, especially as some of our young children get older. We want to have excellent ministry for middle school and high school youth in addition to our younger kids. This work cannot happen with the work of one person though. It takes teams of leaders, and parents who make weekly worship a priority for their family. I want to celebrate that last Sunday we had over 100 kids worship at McCausland and nearly 30 at our Clayton site. This is amazing and evidence that a new spirit is alive in our family ministry. New adult and parents are serving and new ideas are being shared. I am excited about this and as a church, I hope you are excited with me. If you are interested in serving our kids or helping Leslie lead us to a new and exciting ministry for children and you, please contact her. She will be excited to meet you.
It’s Friday the 13th so be careful out there, and I will see you all on Sunday!