“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” Acts 15:28
These words—“good to the Holy Spirit and to us”—are written by the Jerusalem Council after Jesus’ apostles conclude that sharing the gospel with Gentiles is going to look different than sharing it with Jews. It’s the Council’s way of saying, “We talked, we debated, we put our heads together and prayed, we asked for the Holy Spirit’s
guidance—and here’s what we came up with….”
I think many of decisions we make as a church today are made in the same way: A crisis presents itself, believers deliberate and debate, we may not be quite sure how to respond, so we pray and ask for God’s Spirit to guide us. It’s not a perfect process, but a decision is made and ministry moves forward. The crisis becomes an opportunity to face the future boldly and faithfully.
That’s where we are now at Calvary: Matt needs to do his Internship. At our Annual Meeting the members of Calvary agreed that we should apply to be an Internship Site. Matt’s Candidacy Committee recommended that he do his Internship outside of Calvary. (Lori and Matt pouted, commiserated, and cried ourselves to sleep.)
Assuming we’re approved (and how could Luther Seminary not want us as one of their sites?!?) this congregation will host an Intern in the late Summer or early Fall of 2015. Yikes!
That means that since it has “seemed good the Holy Spirit and to us,” we need to make some definite plans. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
- First, the Management Team needs to delineate and assess our Intergenerational Ministry and whether we are accomplishing all that we want to there.
- Second, we need to survey the requirements of being an Internship Site, and the primary responsibilities we have to the Intern and the larger church.
- Third, we need to figure out how much of the Intergenerational Ministry we can expect the Intern to do.
- Fourth, we need to identify which Intergenerational ministries will need to be coordinated by me (the ordained pastor) or by other leaders within the congregation.
- Fifth, I will select an Internship Committee (an expectation of the Internship Supervisor) with guidance from the Management Team. (You are welcome to indicate if you are interested.)
- Finally, the Council and Internship Committee will work in tandem to prepare for the next phase of our ministry at Calvary.
That proposal looks pretty straightforward. But the truth is, we know that while we are stepping up to this challenge we will also want to acknowledge the continued company of our dear brother Matt. (And, for goodness sake, since the guy won’t be leaving us for several months, we’ll want to enjoy every minute we have with him.) Before he leaves we will need his help to make this transition as seamless as possible. We need to figure out how he can “pass the baton” for Intergenerational Ministry back to us in such a way that we steward that ministry effectively—and not miss a beat.
We still need to continue that conversation with the Holy Spirit, though. We may have fairly solid plans with which to move forward, but we can never consult with the Holy Spirit enough. So, please, pray: for Matt, for Calvary, for me, for our preparations in the Internship process, for the ministry transitions that are inevitable—and all those who will be affected by them.
And rejoice that we can rely on this community of faith to be a place where we do ministry together—with each other and with the Holy Spirit.
Your Sister in Christ,
Pastor Lori Cornell