M-Note 5.12.22

A Challenge to Reconnect This Summer

By Matt Miofsky

This weekend, I will be finishing our current series No Filter: See the Real You. I have been talking about identity and how we see ourselves. One of the challenges in understanding our identity is the confusion in our world between what you do and who you are. Once very early in my ministry, a mentor invited me to answer a simple, “Who are you?” I responded, “a husband, father, pastor, son, friend, church planter, etc.” When I was through, he made an observation. Everything I listed was a role I play, something I do. But none of it really got to the core of who I was. He asked me the question again but in a different way. This time, I was to think back to a time in my life before I was most of these things. Who was I before I started accumulating all of these roles and responsibilities?
 

The exercise is harder than you think. It isn’t easy to move beyond what we do and get at who we are on a fundamental level. Over time, as responsibilities, work, family, and obligations mount up, we can lose a sense of who we are. It takes time and intentionality to stay connected to who we are. Sometimes we need to be reminded of our identity and to do this, very often we must go to the source. To remember who we are, we must remember the One who created us. When we reconnect with God, we are reconnecting with ourselves.
 
Paul, a follower of Jesus, once put it this way. “…your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.” (Col. 1.3) As we come to know Christ, as we connect with God, we discover who we really are.
 
As we approach summer, I have a challenge for you. It has been easy to become disconnected from Christ, faith, and church the past two years. We don’t always recognize it, but when we are disconnected from God, we can get disconnected from our authentic self. So my challenge is this – reconnect. Begin by reconnecting with God, even if you aren’t feeling it. Church is a great place to do those things that help us connect with God. Maybe it is time to start serving again or connecting with other people. Maybe it is time to start praying or reading scripture. Maybe it is just coming to worship and re-establishing that weekly habit. I challenge you to take one step this summer to grow closer to God. As you do, you may just find that you are also connecting more deeply with who you really are.
Peace,
P.S. A couple of weeks ago I announced that this summer Even though the United Methodist Church encourages this practice for pastors every 7 years, I have never done it. My sabbatical begins next week. During this time, I want to practice what I preach. I talked about the details of it and what I will be focusing on here. I am grateful to have a board here at The Gathering that encouraged me to do this and supported the decisions wholeheartedly. I am grateful for incredible leaders and staff who are entirely capable and will be leading the church and ministries this summer. If needs or questions arise for you while I am gone, please go to your site pastor. Finally, I am grateful for all of you. I get to serve a church that I love, and your words of support as I start this sabbatical have meant a lot to me. Pray for me. I am looking forward to this time away (as strange as it will be for me), and I will be eager to return to tell you all about it.

No Filter: See The Real You

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