For the November Elders meeting, there was no agenda other than to pray. The prayer was not, “Lord, please help this person,” or “Lord, please bless that ministry.” Those prayers of petition (asking God for something) are genuine, legitimate prayers, but we were doing something different. We asked God to speak to us and then we tried to listen, in mind and in spirit.
The words guiding us into prayer come from 2 Timothy 1:6-7. “God does not give a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” Much was shared in our 90-minute discussion. One of the conclusions was that we love our church, and we must continue to love our church.
Loving the church is not idealizing it. We know our church is not perfect. We know we need growth. The love is a feeling and a commitment. This is family and we who make up this family are committed to it. Even though the people of Hillside have mostly been here for many years, we are a much different church than we were 5 years ago, and that’s OK. We have to love the church we are now. We have to serve God and serve our community as the church that we are now.
I am thankful I have been a part of this ministry for 15 years. Dina started as ministry assistant in August 2006 and I began as pastor in September of that year. We both love the church and are grateful for the love the church has shown us. Now, as we move toward Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a New Year, we look to God and listen to God. We seek His guidance as we attempt to name the identity of Hillside Church as we exist in 2021-2022.
We invite you to join this journey. Read 2 Timothy 1:6-7. Pray for God to free you from fear and anxiety. Pray for God to help you see His power and love. Commit to spiritual practices and spiritual disciplines that will help you grow as Jesus’ disciple. God has called us, Hillside. Together, we will answer God’s call.