VM Series: Discerning A Local Church’s Work In Global Missions (January 2019)

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Learning To Rest In Discernment

This blog piece is part of an ongoing, monthly series, as we journey with Red Bluff Vineyard in their process of discerning the specifics of their global missions engagement. Click here to start back at Part 1 from October 2018.

Discernment is challenging work. Or is discernment an art? I tend to think Gordon T. Smith is correct when he states that “discernment is a learned exercise,” which means that there are principles and biblical guidelines to help followers of Jesus along the way of knowing God’s will.

In the past couple of months, our discernment process came to a screeching halt. In October, November, and part of December, we seemed to have a lot of energy and encouraging progress! Yet all of a sudden, in the middle of December, our work of discerning the direction that God was leading our church to pursue when it came to global missions, it stopped! What brought this about, you ask?

The Holidays!

As anyone involved in “church life” can attest, Advent is an amazing season that provides many missional opportunities within the life of the local church. Our church community, the Red Bluff Vineyard, had dozens of first-time visitors at our Christmas Eve services. And I can tell you that preaching at four different services in two days was a bit exhausting!

All that is to say that our process of becoming involved with Vineyard Missions hasn’t moved forward much since the last installment of this blog series. We’re still leaning toward Japan and eastern Europe, specifically Ukraine, but we’re also very open to whatever direction the Lord will lead us.

On the other hand, over the past month, I’ve sat down for coffee with about five different college-aged people who have expressed a growing desire to go on a mission trip! So I’ve been putting together a list of the names of those interested. Our missions team is planning to get together in the next couple of weeks to finalize where we want to take some exploratory trips and will then schedule an interest meeting in March for everyone else to attend and check out.

Until then, we continue to pray, discuss, and dream! If you’d like to get connected with Vineyard Missions, shoot them an email and I’m sure they’d love to help you!

Read the next installment, February 2019.

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Luke Geraty is a pastor-theologian living in Northern California, and he and his wife, Dawn, lead the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing children, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family or doing church stuff, he enjoys reading and writing theology, fly fishing, and listening to underground hip hop. He blogs at SpiritChurchMission.com and can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.