So, here we stand as Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church.  Through many struggles we have come and many issues we have faced, where shall we go?  That is the question that we must ask ourselves and a question that I have been challenging us to look at since I came to Shepherd of the Hills, it was a question that should never have been stopped being asked.  It is a question that should be giving us that difficult challenge as we desire to fulfill the call that has been placed upon us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The series on "Heaven, Hell, and Evangelism" came out of a desire to help us in this journey and establish a foundational structure that will help us to the next step.  In this process it is important for us to be intentional in insuring that we do not only look internally, but looking forward in our partnerships with other congregations and missions in the United States and around the globe.  We are called to perpetuate the Great Commission  of our Lord as it is found in Matthew 28:18-20 in which we are called make disciples by baptizing and teaching them to follow all the our Lord Jesus commands.  How can we do that within the context in which we are found?

First, we must all understand what it means to be stewards and how to be good stewards of the faith which we have been given.  How are we insuring that our congregation is healthy and vibrant?  Are we supporting and resourcing our congregation to fulfill the missions which she is called to fulfill?  These are the questions that each of us must ask ourselves without looking to another to do it, but being honest to ourselves about our own use of our gifts and resources to help our congregation to do that.  If each of us do that which God has gifted us to do and share this work proportionally we will find that God has provided our congregation with an abundance of what is needed to do more than what we had first envisioned and the issue will not be seeking more resources, but searching out more options in which we can glorify God!  What a glorious blessing we could be!

As we grow in our stewardship we will grow in our discipleship because in it we will be confronted in the Word and filled with our Lord's Holy Spirit given that divine appointment to the calling which He has given us.  Because growing in our stewardship and growing in our discipleship go hand in hand we will become transformed by the power of our Holy Spirit.  As the proverb of a seed - unless a seed dies it cannot grow into a full living plant.  We must bury the past and bury the old self that the new self can grow and we must leave the past behind us of what had been Shepherd of the Hills that a new and vibrant church can grow and be strong as a congregation of the body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ and He alone is our salvation and the Truth that we are compelled to proclaim because those of us who truly believe our called to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth.  That is our first calling and our first love and will drive the next age in which we are called to go.  As we move forward let us dream dreams and vision together seeking and praying for the calling of our Lord's Holy Spirit.