Do you know where you come from? And no, I’m not talking about your mom and dad or even what city you are from. I am asking if you know where your church comes from.
I am currently in the midst of a course on Baptist History and Thought that has shaped the Baptist denominations here within North America. As I have been engaging with the material, I have quickly recognized things that make up who my church is, and why we do things one way or the other. I grew up in a variety of churches of all shapes, sizes, and styles. But now I pastor within a Baptist church in a suburban community. But that church was shifted and shaped by it’s past. Our people react to things a certain way because it’s engrained within our culture. We take part in ordinances like Communion and Baptism a certain way because of the theology we have taken up which was shaped by many men and women of faith.
As I begin to recognize these things it is giving me ideas on how to better to engage in my church community. Where have we come from, and where are we going? Even if you are apart of a para-church organization such as Young Life, you have history which has shaped you. You do that thing you do, because it has been done like that since a certain time for a certain reason.
I am starting to believe that if I learn more about the past, I will be able to better steer us into the future. I will understand our trajectory and will be able to either keep us on it, or hopefully help us avoid some possible bumps along the way. This may be especially important to those of us who weren’t part of that church from our birth. If you move ministries chances are you have moved to a place with a different identity and DNA that make ministry in that place unique.
How much do you know about your organization/church? What are you doing with the knowledge? And how are you going to use it to better steer your ministry?
Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years and blogs exclusively here on LoveGodLoveStudents.com. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. Hit him up on Twitter @CorbinKyle