Deb StehlinBy Rev. Deb Stehlin, Director for Evangelical Mission

At the end of Luke 12, Jesus challenges the crowds: “You know how to tell a change in the weather, so don’t tell me you can’t tell a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right now. You don’t have to be a genius to understand these things.” *

If you’re a leader in your congregation, you’re probably discovering that it’s time to learn some new things.

That’s why I’m thanking Jesus for our synod’s three new mission starts. They will be our teachers.

Some people have asked, “Why are we spending money to start new things when we could invest in the congregations we already have?” Here’s my answer: We’re in a new God-season. We need creative, courageous people out there trying new things – not only because we know that starting something new is sometimes the best way to invite people in, but also because we all will learn from these experiments.

“We’re in a new God-season.”melnick baptizing

Have you asked, “How can our congregation build relationships across race, class, and culture?” Pastor Melissa Melnick and her leaders of Tapestry are doing just that. They are forming a bilingual, multicultural worshiping community in Richfield. And they’re learning a ton. Talk to Pastor Melissa and her leaders and they’ll tell you about the power of Jesus and the gospel to bring people together.

Have you asked, “How can our church be relevant to people who are skeptical about church, especially young adults?” Mission Developer Mike Rusert and his leaders of Intertwine NE are working on that question together. They’re creating a community in Northeast Minneapolis that’s more about questions than answers, and confronts hard issues like race and the environment.

“How can our church be relevant to people who are skeptical about church?”

Have you asked, “How can our church connect with people who are moving into our fast-growing community?” Pastor Marissa Sotos, who’s being sent from Central Lutheran to start Tree of Life Lutheran, is just getting started. She’s drinking a lot of coffee in the North Loop, downtown — which will double in population in the next few years. It’s a place where people live in condos, behind two sets of locked doors. She’s busy listening and meeting people, working to discover what the Spirit has for them.

Each of these ministries is seeking partners. If you join them in their experiments, just think about all the cool things you’ll learn about this new God-season! You don’t even have to be a genius.

*The Message version