The article from LEAD (Living Every Day as Disciples) that launched last month’s column had a second idea which I’d like to share with you. Director, Peggy Hahn, went on listening sessions across our region talking with pastors and lay leaders. Afterward, she shared that she could ask one question – just ONE – and get a good feel for the
vitality of that ministry.
The question? “What are you reading?
That’s all. “What are you reading?” The answer didn’t matter. If the leader was reading ANYTHING – tending to their spiritual and intellectual growth – that was enough. In our ministry with LEAD, we have discovered that congregations that are growing have leaders who are growing.
I would like to take that a step farther. This observation doesn’t just pertain to leaders. Congregations that are growing—growing in faith, hope and love not just numbers—have members who are growing.
Lutherans are people of the book. Historically, we were founded on the principal that it was important for people to read the Bible for themselves. Which continues to be true. Yet the Bible is not the only book that Jesus’ disciples need to be reading today! We read to learn new things, we read to be challenged in our thinking, we read to be lifted up and inspired, we read to be excited and intrigued, and sometimes we even read for the fun of solving a mystery or having a good cry. Whatever the genre, reading is a wonderful gift and a great blessing.
When my father was a boy, his parents were criticized for allowing him to read comic books by someone who thought all comics were “trash”. My grandmother replied, “I don’t care WHAT he is reading. I am simply glad THAT he is reading!” It can be so delightful on a cold winters day to curl up in the easy chair and read a good book. Or put on an audio book and listen to a good story. I pray you will have the pleasure of doing so this month. And remember, that no matter what you read, look for connection to God and to faith.
Looking Ahead to Lent
Ash Wednesday is late this year, falling on March 6 rather than in the month of February. We will be having soup suppers and Lenten services as is our custom, although we may be doing something new this year.
Pastor has been a part of a group of more than a dozen pastors who have been collaborating to prepare worship resources based on Brené Brown’s book “Braving the Wilderness” and is hoping to use it as the basis of our Lenten services this year. Stay tuned for details in next month’s newsletter.
Rev. Melanie Martin-Dent
It is with great anticipation that we welcome Pastor Melanie to be our pastor here at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Polson is such a great place to live, abounding in many of God’s most wonderful natural beauties. We look forward to hearing your ideas about ministry and outreach, and we hope to work together, with you, as a team as we go forward, united as one body of Christ. Blessings to you, and may GSLC be a “light shining upon a hill”!