Deep and Wide: An Invitation to Give
The theme for the Easter offering for this year is Imagine What God Can Do. It celebrates how the ministries of the church reach deep and wide when we invest in the ways that God is working in the world.
You may wonder, what exactly does that look like, and how, precisely does that work? To be honest, it works a hundred different ways – but it looks most like the work of discipleship. When a person is trained with special skills they go “deep” into the formation of the individual. As they learn, integrate, and begin to practice these new ideas, they also begin to share them with others, which is how they begin to go wide. God uses God’s people to do amazing things.
Consider a woman who follows a call to ministry and goes to seminary, supported by our Higher Education and Leadership Ministries – a work we do together as Disciples. She grows in her faith and leadership skills - the part that is “deep”. Then, serving a congregation and sharing her knowledge of, and passion for, the bible, it spreads “wide” among the people she shepherds. As they experience her passion for scripture and learn from her witness, they go deep – and – you guessed it, then they also “go wide” sharing their own faith by living as those formed by the example of the gospel.
The same can be said of a person called to the mission field on the other side of the world. Together, through Global Missions, we Disciples invest in the “going deep” with language, cultural, and contextual education so that the one we send is fully equipped for the mission they are called to, in the particular place they are to serve. And, you guessed it, that person bears witness to the transformative power of the Realm of God and its impact is wide, touching many.
It happens a hundred different ways – A young person discovers how much they are loved by God in a week at camp. A woman rises to claim the validity and power of her spiritual gifts at a Disciple’s Women’s retreat. A man in a Sunday school class, studying materials provided by Disciples Home Missions realizes that “all means all”, including him. Someone on a mission trip made possible to National Benevolent Association’s “Connect” network finds the joy in serving others. New Church Ministry assists in the planting of a new community of faith that speaks to the next generation of Disciples. It goes deep. It goes wide.
And we do all of this together – more than we could do by ourselves or on our own. And it all matters. Just imagine what God can do when we share generously with the ministries that make this possible.
Rev. Bruce Barkhauer
Center for Faith and Giving
For more information about the Easter Offering, including worship resources and videos, go to: https://disciplesmissionfund.org/special-offerings/easter/