I don’t care for “Christianese.” That’s the language that is spoken only in church circles. It’s a language that only Christians understand and leaves all others wondering what is being talked about. It’s confusing! An example of Christianese is the word “narthex.” No one outside of church knows or cares what the word “narthex” means. That’s why we now call it the entryway. It’s more user friendly and doesn’t leave folks on the outside looking in. As we continue in the Vitality Pathway, we’ve been avoiding Christianese whenever possible. However, leading up to April 29th, we’ll be hearing a Christianese word: consecration.
On April 29th, Pastor Chad Benkert will be here for our “Service of Consecration.” By definition the word consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word consecration literally means “association with the sacred.” Pastor Chad will challenge us to commit to a “special purpose” and to “associate with the sacred.” We’ve taken the first steps in the Vitality process. Those steps include forming a Vitality Team, the Veritas workshop, EPIC, and affirming the Behavioral Covenant. Now, like all Covenant churches in the Pathway, we are asked to do a Service of Consecration where we fully commit our journey to God and agree to walk together into the future.
Our denomination website explains the service this way:
The Service of consecration (SOC) is a significant experience on the congregational Vitality Pathway. It marks the halfway point in the journey. This worship service is an invitation to re-dedicate ourselves and the church to Jesus, to whom all glory belongs.
During the SOC, the Holy Spirit continues to break up the soil and soften our hearts so that we are more receptive to what God wants to do in and through us. We are reminded that this is Christ’s church, not our church. We are mindful that the church does not have a mission; the mission has a church. We recognize that Vitality is a journey, not a destination.
We acknowledge that God is moving us into a territory that we have never been before: new ways of thinking, new ways of mission, new ways of discipleship, new ways of relating, new discoveries and new obstacles to overcome. We fix our eyes on Jesus who is leading His church forward. In this new land, there are still battles to be fought, but we experience a new confidence as we move forward. The SOC re-purposes us for a new season of life and ministry. We have hope!
I ask your forgiveness for the Christianese use of the word consecration, but there’s simply no other word or words to replace it. We do indeed consecrate ourselves to the future God has for us. Together we fix our eyes on Jesus as He leads us forward. So, mark your calendars, save the date: April 29th will be special!