A Season of Renewal and Growth

by Adam Smith on September 12, 2021

As I write this article, I confess that I have more things in motion than seems possible to manage. Things are lively, readying for the program year to come and I am excited about God’s movement amongst us in this season of renewal and growth. 
Did you catch that? Renewal? Growth?
Whatever could you mean, pastor? 
Well I’m glad you asked! And the answer might surprise you. 
First, we’re doing it. After a year and half of discernment - of prayer, scripture engagement, holy conversation, and no small amount of strategic planning, we are beginning to implement the fruits of our labor. No longer is our work simply preparation and behind the scenes, our discernment is moving into our life and ministry where faith in community is lived out. 
Do I have specifics for you yet? As of right now while I write this article, it is the day your Session will meet to make some of those decisions. So the answer I have is a regretful, ‘No.’ But perhaps by the time you read this some of the ‘yet to be decided’ news will have reached your ears. 
Regardless, what I can tell you for certain is that whatever the Session moves us to do as a church, whatever changes it might decide to make, it will not ‘make’ renewal and growth happen. What it will do is position our congregation in such a way to best listen to and follow after Jesus with what makes us ‘us.’ That’s it. 
And just as certainly I can tell you that no program, no staff model, no leadership training the Session moves to incorporate will be magic beans that when planted will guarantee a growing, thriving church. The Session lays down a foundation; positions and directs the ship; lays the framework.
There is a 2nd, even more important piece to this season of ‘Renewal & Growth’ on which the Session’s work and the key to moving forward into this season of hope and grace rests. 
This piece is YOU. It is US.

It is each individual at PCN and WE as a community together. 

You see, renewal and growth is not a top down leadership decision and initiative despite what we might assume from our experience in the business world. Rather it is a bottom up covenant between God, each of us individually, and all of us together in answering God’s call for PCN. The Session has positioned us to follow after Jesus and will continue to do so, but it is each and every one of us that will covenant together to enter this season of renewal and growth. 
It will involve shifting our mindset from scarcity (to not having enough, not being enough, not being willing to change) to abundance (God is providing, God taking care of, God moving us to risky discipleship). It will involve beginning to see and live into the royal priesthood of which we are a part- In it, each of us both leads and follows, invests in the life and ministry of church. We are not simply consumers, but vital tools of what God is up to @ PCN.
Entering and living into a season of renewal and growth will be up to each of you. It will be up to us together as we follow after Jesus.
Friends, I cannot wait to walk with you in this new season, to share with you the fruits of the Session’s labors on your behalf, and to jump into the unknown with you trusting in Jesus to lead us. I know it won’t be a simple journey and it will involve learning, failing, and change. Such is the way of discipleship. But I have hope in new life, in being made whole, in the kingdom of God being fulfilled on earth, all of which Jesus brings in his wake. 
So my friends, in this season that we are about to enter, ask yourself, “How can I be about hope and grace, renewal and growth, and being the Body of Christ @ PCN?” Because God needs each us. 
With Hope & Grace,


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