Psalm 86:11 models wise prayer: ‘Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.’
In God’s kindness, He has taught us His way. He’s revealed the truth about life and eternity through His Word. The Father’s made the way to return to Him possible through the sacrificial work of His Son, and applied it to new hearts of flesh by the work of His Spirit. Because He’s taught us His way, we know what life is about. We know it is our goal as individuals to love the LORD with everything and love our neighbour with the same dedication we have for ourselves. We know it is our goal together to make disciples of all; to glorify God; and to enjoy Him forever. It’s why our church vision (to see more disciples of Jesus shining as lights in our city) works just as well individually as it does collectively.
God has taught us His way. Our prayer is to pursue it with an ‘undivided heart’. Currently, we are in the process of considering how ‘His way’ will shape our next 5 years. Parish Council and Pastoral staff recently spent the first of three mornings doing this, where we reflected on:
- Our particular situation: Our region is a destination where people come and stay (from young / university / international / regional). They come here looking for a positive, comfortable and balanced (work-life) life. But – there is: Significant isolation in a disconnected community; Still high levels of anxiety and depression / mental health; Real housing fragility leading to homelessness and poverty.
- Our blessings as a church community: Our location beside the community centres are a real asset with building assets that are both attractive and functional. We are known for our biblical knowledge and our training and sending of people into Gospel work; our very strong history and processes of children’s, youth and young adult ministry. We are a generous community in terms of financial giving to support staffing and the mission and our willingness to care and provide hospitality.
- Our passions: Encouraging deep relationships with God – committed to delighting in our Lord (Word, Prayer, Adoration. Seeing transformed lives and relationships as people grow in authentic faith in Jesus. Seeing more people in our area coming to know Jesus and becoming disciples.
As we start to draw conclusions and actions from these conversations, we’d welcome the input of our broader church family, as well as the broader community. We will meet again on 29th July, applying our God-given situation to our 4Es, to set priorities for the coming years. As you keep praying Psalm 86:11, we’d invite you to participate.
A link to a questionnaire will be sent on 12th July, open to answer for a week (19th). There will be 6 questions for you to answer, and 3 for you to ask someone who is NOT part of church. So you can prepare, these are the questions…
Questions for the church family
1: What is our church’s greatest strength?
2: What is one untapped potential in our church?
3: In what ways would you hope our church grows and changes over the next 5 years?
4: How might our church meet the biggest challenge in the community?
5: How is God currently using your gifts in church-life and the community?
6: How do you hope to grow to better meet our church and community’s needs?
Questions for our community: your friend, co-worker or neighbour
1: What do you see as the greatest needs of our community (Wollongong/Corrimal)?
2: How would you describe St Michael’s Wollongong + Corrimal? (Have you ever had involvement)?
3: What would you like St Michael’s to be doing for you and the community?
Your reflections, and the insights of those we’d love to see become disciples, are a great help as we seek to walk in Christ’s truth.