Renewal First Steps

Dear Gibson Sisters and Brothers,

Our renewal journey has begun in earnest, and I couldn’t be more excited! 

Your specific calling and invitation to me a year ago was to preach, plan and lead worship, and lead a renewal process. I knew I would love the preaching and worship parts, but I didn’t know a year ago how much I would enjoy the renewal process. I do!

Now that we have begun, I will be writing monthly updates using this blog format which is part of the Gibson website. I will use these monthly blog posts to update you on the renewal process and our participation in the Church Renewal Lab. There should not be any surprises as everyone at Gibson will be involved in the process. Let me rephrase that. Everyone needs to be involved and part of the renewal journey. This is an all-hands-on-deck season we have entered and it will be critical to have each of you engaged along the way. Buckle in. It’s going to be an exciting ride!

For this first monthly renewal update, I thought it would be helpful to have a visual of where we’ve been over the course of the last year. Our journey together began in January, and the Holy Spirit has been at work since. Please click on Our Gibson Renewal Story to see all that the Holy Spirit has been doing already. You’ll notice I added into our story timeline our online and in-person worship periods because the Holy Spirit has been just as active in these different periods as anytime. Also, note that the ending of the story timeline is in rough draft form as our story is far from being over. I’ll keep adding to the story timeline over the course of the next couple of years and we will remember and celebrate all that God has done. I am blessed and encouraged to see all that has happened already, and I hope you are, too. 

These are all in the story timeline, but let me just highlight a couple of specific things that we have done most recently, and that we are doing right now:

  • Our first Church Renewal Lab Cohort meetings were held for 2 ½ days in October
  • Our second CRL Cohort meetings are scheduled in January when we will meet as Pastors again for 2 days, and with our leadership teams on Saturday morning.
  • We experienced the DEVOTED Sermon Series for renewal based upon Acts 2:42-47
    • We are responding with our 4 DEVOTED actions steps which are shaping and preparing us for renewal:
      • Daily Reading of God’s Word in Acts
      • Each One Reach One in the Gibson family with an expression of love
      • Do one concrete act of missionally-motivated, Kingdom-advancing hospitality for a neighbor
      • 242 Daily Prayer Challenge
  • Prayer is so vital to all that we do on our renewal journey, just as central to us as it was to the Acts Church where we see prayer as a constant and continual act of faith. So, we will hold periodic prayer events for the congregation, as well as personal and small group. Here we will pray. We will listen to the Holy Spirit. We will listen to each other. Our first Abiding Prayer event is Wednesday, 12/2/20, at 6:30PM via Zoom. 
  • Each Renewal Lab Church builds a leadership team to spearhead the renewal process, to pray, to listen, so speak, to help prepare for various activities we’ll be doing as a congregation over the course of the next 2 years. This team is finalizing, and when finished I’ll share who is on that team for your information and for your prayers. We will have our first lead team meeting sometime in December. This team meets monthly, and then also once every quarter on a Saturday morning. I’m grateful for those who have already agreed to be on the team, and, as I said, I will share those names with you soon.

Next time in my renewal update blog I’d like to begin addressing some FAQ’s that arise in a renewal journey like ours. The first one being, “So, why will this be any different than other new things we have tried in the past?” Great question, and I’ll take a swing at it next time. Stay tuned.

Sisters and brothers, I’ll say it again. We are all in this together. All hands on deck! You are so important to Gibson Church and to God’s good future he has in store for us. But, it will take a clarity and commitment to mission that we will live both together and individually. You see, the Spirit is working renewal at Gibson by working renewal in each one of us, in you! So, please pursue, filled with the Spirit, be devoted to the 4 actions steps we have identified so far. Listen for the Spirit in all of it. Tell stories of what you have seen the Spirit doing. And, once you’ve done an action step, look for another to bless with that action step, or the next step for you and that action step. In other words, no one-and-done. Keep going! Keep pursuing relentlessly! Let’s keep in step with the Spirit!

Shalom, friends,

Pastor Rod