Beautiful and Believable…
Made to Flourish is a network formed to help pastors understand how to connect faith, work, and economics in a way that will help people live for Christ in every area of their lives. As people begin to connect their work to God’s plan for the world, they begin to flourish and to advance the common good in their own neighborhoods, communities, and beyond.
The Acton Institute of Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently sponsored our Lake Valley Apostolic Team, Dru Dodson, Morgan Golden, and Roger Stanage, to attend the annual Made to Flourish conference. This year’s conference theme was Churches for the Common Good, and prior to the conference a call was put out for pastors to submit papers related to this theme.
Dru Dodson submitted a paper titled “Beautiful and Believable: Solving the Problem of the (Invisible) Church and the Common Good,” which was published in the conference guide, and more recently has been published in a collection of essays. This collection, called Essays for the Common Good: Nine pastors and churches share how they are putting ideas into practice, has been made available on Amazon in ebook form.
In his essay, Dru describes how the church in the U.S. is often “invisible” in serious discussions about how to address relief and economic development in our society and instead, the responsibility for the common good is left to government agencies and nonprofits. As a result, churches are failing in the calling to make Jesus and His message both beautiful and believable. Using the teaching of the Apostle Paul in his letter to Titus, Dru outlines and discusses what the contemporary U.S. church needs in order to be effective in seeking the welfare of our communities. He also shares a bit of our own journey at Lake Valley, describing how our people have initiated both large and small efforts, “for us” and “beyond us.” “Lake Valley Community Church,” Dru writes, “is not a megachurch. We are not a famous church. But neither are we invisible in Hot Springs, Garland County, or the state of Arkansas.”
The call to action for us, Lake Valley, is that we continue to make Jesus and His message beautiful and believable. We have not been called to just seek our own flourishing, but to seek the flourishing of all people…to seek the common good. Our mission is “for us” AND “beyond us.”