For the past year our congregation has been using the phrase, “Casting a Wider Net,” as our working theme toward the fulfillment of our vision. Our clergy, staff, and lay leadership have used this phrase to encourage one another to expand the boundaries of our ministry by reaching out beyond our walls and into the community. On the Sunday before Labor Day, we celebrated many of the victories that have been won under the banner of our “casting a wider net” theme. We’ve seen new people attend our services and events, new members join our church, and a renewed sensitivity for people living life “on the margins” of society. All of this has been a very welcome continuation of the growth that our church has been experiencing in recent years.
As we move into a new program year this fall, I would encourage us to add a third dimension to the image of “casting a wider net.” As we continue to cast wider, let’s also go deeper! The image of “casting a wider net” is two-dimensional. It reminds us that we must continue to expand the “surface area,” the length and breadth of our disciple-making activity. At the same time, we must also dive deeper in our attempts to fish for people, as Christ has called us to do. It is only as we grow in our relationship with God that we can truly be all that God wants us to be. That’s what “going deeper” is all about.
Our current church vision statement includes the phrase, “We plan to increase the spiritual life of our Christ-centered church through programs such as: study the basics of our faith, men’s ministry, Bible study, discipleship groups, Stephen Ministry/Samaritan Ministry, Prayer groups, Terrific Tuesdays, women’s ministry, Sunday School and small groups.” You see, even our own vision statement calls us to GO DEEPER!
Will you commit yourself this year to “casting wider” and “going deeper” along with our church family? Let’s not be satisfied with a superficial faith any longer! Remember the call of Jesus in Luke 5:4: “Put out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch!”