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A simple truth about most of us is that we do what we love. 

Indeed, we may push through things we have to do. We may endure stuff we hate to do. But we will find time flies when we do what we love. 

When we do what we love, we move from “I have to” to “I get to!” 

I think about this in terms of the car I now drive. I used to own a Nissan Cube (a long story goes with that purchase). I drove that car with little enthusiasm. Now I drive a six-speed manual transmission Mini Cooper. Here is a car I get to drive!

What’s true for each of us is also true for congregations. There are moments when we see our congregation slogging along. They are living, “We have to.” But then there are other times we see our church family sailing along. We look and say, “They love doing this; they were made for this.” Here is living into “We get to!”

Few things bring more extraordinary life to a congregation than discovering the loves God gives them and joyfully living out those loves. And few things call the family of God to new engagement in ministry and witness than naming our loves and discerning how we can fully live out our passions. 

Fully living out what a community of faith loves always encompasses the fullness of God’s calling. When a congregation lives the fullness of their loves, they will: 

  • focus outward in witness and caring for the world
  • focus inward to create disciples and build the faith community
  • focus upward, connecting with God 

The shift in living according to our loves moves a congregation from all it thinks it should be doing (from one “we have to” task to the next) to shaping our life together so that the congregation says, “We get to!”

Does this mean “we get to ministry and witness” will always be easy, seamless, and life-giving? No. We all know this from the things we love to do. We may love snowboarding, but it takes a lot of physical work, and a fall can bring bruises. We may love to teach, but there are days! 

Doing what we love moves a congregation to “get to,” but it doesn’t mean it is necessarily easy.

What does your congregation love? Are you designing your life together to do what you love? Are you moving from “have to” to “get to"?

If your leadership or congregation is interested in exploring more about what you love, Vibrant Congregations offers a joys/loves scan that you can use. You can connect with us via our website or email.  Vibrant Congregations is a joint endeavor by the RCA and CRC to assist churches in discerning the best partner organizations to connect with to take fresh steps in ministry and mission.

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