This is the first of five articles on the five values of Etch. Originally, I had set out to talk about them on video, however it struck me that I don’t need to be the one sharing this information (you hear from me enough!). So I commissioned the Etch Ministry Team to each take a value and write about its purpose and further meaning. Please enjoy!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV).
We grow by allowing God to lead us toward His desire for us as individuals, families and the body of believers. God’s longing is for us to be free in Him. The world cannot offer any version of true freedom. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burden again by a yoke of slavery”. In letting go of our desires, God replaces them with His desires for us, which will always be better than we could ever anticipate. As we work with God through confession and prayer, our focus is on Christ, His suffering, death and resurrection on our behalf. In Christ, there is an abundance of freedom. Thus, we worship God in every aspect of our lives as we “let go of our own desires”. When we serve Him with complete trust and obedience, we glorify God in every facet of our lives. There will be great blessings to us all as we allow God to lead us and we trust His guidance.
Not many people like change. It can be challenging even when the change is a positive thing. As ECOB changes and grows (because all things living do… and yes the church is living!), there will be doubt and questions. Please know brothers and sisters, our future has been prayed for. Our families have been prayed for. God is in charge of change. He is the one this leadership team and pastoral staff answer to. We have let go of our desires and replaced them with God’s desire. However, without change, growth will not take place as effectively if we don’t allow God to create disciples that surrender their will to His, and that is what Etch is about.
-Therese Betar (Etch Ministry Team)