So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:25-27
When Paul describes the Church in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, he likens us to the functionality of a human body. Some, he says, are the hands; the ones who tend to the poor and find fulfillment through direct engagement. Others find their home within the vocal cords, filling the air with promises of grace and of a God whose name is Love. As our bodies each bear striking reminders of our own individuality, each of you have many unique and God-given gifts. What you all share in common is that, within the body of Christ, you beat as His heart.
I love the mantra on the back of each of our worship bulletins. Our ministers are the People of Historic Trinity. I’ve come to know this as more than just a throw-away marketing line. It’s who we are together; who we become together. It’s the kind of disciple we raise up in this place together.
We’re asking you to envision a church with a whole host of believers who intentionally set a tone of prayerful spirituality loose within its fellowship. Who serve where they feel equipped and capable, and who relay to our pastoral staff the needs they feel need our attention. Who provide immediate care for each other and pass along what they feel needs ultimate care. Who deliberately establish and carefully nurture a culture of care.
For many of us, Trinity is already well on its way to being that church. Intentionality is what carries it forward to the Church as God imagines it in five years. In fifteen years. In two hundred.
It starts with honest conversation. With vulnerability and intentionality. Seasons change and so do we, and what we need from our Church changes with us; so we’re asking you to re-imagine the only question there is in this place: “How do we connect each other with Jesus?” How do we care for each other as a Church in this place? How do we live together under the Cross of Christ? Where are we in this pivotal moment and how can our Church meet us there?
In the weeks ahead, you’ll be invited to engage in positive conversation focused on what could be in this place. It’s not an opportunity to identify gaps, but to imagine possibilities. These will be no-judgment zones, and we hope you’ll be a part of them.
Only the Spirit knows where this will go. We can’t direct the path; only open ourselves through intense prayer and fasting, self-reflection and discovery, and deliberative listening. We’ll discover the roadmap by walking the road. I’m looking forward to walking alongside you and seeing where it leads.
About the Author
Josh Hatcher is a devoted husband and father, hopeless wonder-junkie, and Senior Pastor of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church – an open and caring, radically Christ-centered, deeply sacramental and sometimes eclectic ministry in the heart of the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis.