Launching a new disciple-maker
Could you recite our mission statement? You hear it nearly every week if you worship with us. “Chapel Hill Church exists to Exalt Jesus, Elevate Others and Launch Disciple-makers.” All three verbs – Exalt, Elevate and Launch – have an “upward” trajectory, an homage to our name, Chapel Hill. (And believe me, if we could have found a synonym for “launch” that starts with an “E,” we would have used it!)
We take our mission seriously and this weekend, we are going to celebrate the third part of that mission (the one without an “E”): “Launch Disciple-makers.” Jesus’ Great Commission was to go into all the world and make disciples. In obedience, we are seeking to raise up men and women of all ages who love Christ, live in obedience to him and ALSO, seek to draw others into that same kind of relationship. We aren’t just disciples of Jesus. We are disciple-makers for Jesus.
One of the unique ways Chapel Hill fulfills this is to identify, raise up, train, and ordain men and women to the office of Pastor; “Minister of Word and Sacrament” as we call it. If Chapel Hill is the only church you’ve ever known, you might think it commonplace for a church to produce and launch a series of pastors. Actually, it is extraordinarily rare. Many churches would be pleased to raise up ONE ordained pastor from within its body.
To date, Chapel Hill has “launched” 19 pastors. Nineteen! In fact, we are one of the leading churches in our denomination in the raising up, training, and launching new pastors.
Well, this weekend, we launch number 20. Gunnar Tesdahl was examined last week by our regional governing body, the presbytery, and was approved unanimously for ordination. This Sunday at 3:00pm, Gunnar will be ordained to the role of Teaching Elder in our denomination…and to the call of Assistant Pastor for Worship here at Chapel Hill.
Next to his wedding and the birth of his children (someday!), this will be the most significant moment in Gunnar’s life. And you have been a part of making it happen. I hope you will join us in the Sanctuary tomorrow at 3:00 pm for this great celebration…as we “LAUNCH” another disciple-maker.