Last week I suggested using Jesus' commands to his disciples as a guide for developing our four focus areas.
As we do that, it will be helpful to remember why Jesus gave those commands. They aren't arbitrary--each one is a solution to a real, human problem:
Problem 1. You are "sheep without a shepherd"
Solution: Follow me ("I am the way, the truth, and the life")
Problem 2. "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few"
Problem 3. There is good news for the people, but they haven't heard it yet
Problem 4. Many are sick, broken, in need of help and restoration
Problem 5. The world does not know what it looks like when my love shapes individuals and communities
Solution: Love one another
Problem 6. You will be prone to forget my gift to you and my presence with you
Solution: Eat & drink in remembrance of me
Problem 7. There are many more "sheep without a shepherd" out there
Solution: Go make disciples
Problem 8. You don't have the power, wisdom, or comfort you will need to accomplish what I'm sending you to do
Solution: Wait for power from on high
Problem 9. You are the only ones who can tell the story of what you've seen and heard of my love, truth, power, life
Solution: Be my witnesses
These problems aren't the kind that get solved once and go away for good. They repeat themselves generation after generation. They're as relevant now in Rochester as they were 2,000 years ago in Israel.
So here's another question for each team to keep in mind as it plans and builds: Will our area actually solve the problems that Jesus is interested in?