Authentic, powerful & effective

What’s in a name? If it’s an organization or business – plenty.

Pick one, the first that comes to mind. In my head, it’s “Acme Corporation,” the fictitious company in the Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner cartoons. (Don’t ask.) Acme is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the point at which someone or something is best, perfect, or most successful” and is from the Greek word meaning “peak or zenith.” Zenith, now there’s a name. Remember the American electronics firm’s advertising logo? “The quality goes in before the name goes on.” Wonderful.

Point is, the name is intended to put something positive and memorable in the minds of consumers.

So what’s in a mission statement? So much more.

Renewal Fellowship’s board has just approved a new mission statement: “To lead each other and The Presbyterian Church in Canada to authentic Biblical thinking, powerful Spirit-led prayer, and effective Gospel witness.”

Theologically, it’s no different than the old one. It is shorter (21 words versus 63) but way more powerful because it provides specifics. It’s about three things: Bible, prayer and Gospel witness. And they’re modified by four adjectives: authentic, powerful, Spirit-led, and effective.

It’s short enough to be quickly committed to memory and recall as needed. I could unpack it using 100,000 words on why these things are necessary and what they’re all about. But let’s just say it’s what we believe God is telling us the PCC needs right now.

Authentic Biblical thinking is a yearning to see and understand Scripture with the mind of Christ, and then apply it to our lives. It’s the opposite of the desire to search for interpretations and meanings which might justify human desires.

Powerful Spirit-led prayer follows that quest – to submit ourselves completely to divine will and allow the Sprit of God to pray for us so that we can connect and commune with the Son. And then to allow the Holy Spirit to do infinitely more than we can hope or imagine.

Together, those two things will provide us with what we need for effective Gospel witness, something lacking in many Presbyterian congregations. We are commanded to do this, and yet our denomination appears from many perspectives to be fixated on social justice. Don’t misunderstand, it’s a very necessary thing. But any such initiative first requires being on a firm foundation. That footing comes from authenticity and Holy Spirit power.

Basically, it’s calling the church – and ourselves – to a higher place. We can do better and will do better if we are committed to evangelical, orthodox theology.

Did you notice the words “each other” in the statement? It means that when we point one finger at what’s wrong, three fingers are aimed right back at ourselves. We acknowledge that we need to look at our own spiritual condition prior to encouraging the rest of the denomination to authenticity, spiritual submission and effectiveness.

In an ideal world, Renewal Fellowship would not exist. But we are called to counter a trend that we believe is going in the opposite direction to what the Holy Spirit is calling. We do so with a renewed purpose.

And we hope that’s positive and memorable.

Rev. Germaine Lovelace is a member of Renewal Fellowship’s board of directors. At the 2018 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, held in Waterloo, Ontario, he delivered a powerful message to the church on June 6, based on Mark 6:6-13. In a time such as this, we are called to go into the world with a message of hope. “What God is calling us as Presbyterians is to take nothing with us. Go in faith and God is with you. Go in faith knowing that the God of grace will go with you. Jesus loves you just the way you are. He comes so that we may have life and have it abundantly.”

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