Miericke: ‘Keep the Mission Alive

Post a Comment » Written on June 23rd, 2007     
Filed under: News
PORTLAND, OR (June 23, 2007) – “Keep the mission alive,” Kurt Miericke urged delegates attending the 122nd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church during tonight’s worship service.

Earlier in the day, Miericke had been honored as he culminated 16 years of service as superintendent of the Southeast Conference. During his tenure, the conference had doubled in size. Now, he is returning to church planting.

MierickeMiericke shared seven insights from his years as superintendent and church planter.

First, he said, “We have to believe that there is nothing impossible with God.” He told of a Sacramento, California, church that was dying, but turned around in a year and a half because the people saw opportunity afforded by construction of new homes nearby.

“It is better together,” was the second insight Miericke shared. He reminded the gathering of Jesus’ prayer that the church would be one. He lamented the ease with which churches crumble under disunity. “If you don’t have unity, you will have nothing, and you can’t go forward in the mission of Jesus Christ.”

The third insight offered by Miericke was, “We need to remember to do the mission.”  Eighty to 85 percent of the churches in America have reached a plateau or are in decline, he said. For many, it is because they have lost their focus on reaching people with the gospel. “When you forget the mission, you are going to die,” he stated.

Fourthly he said, “Remember it’s not about money,” rather, “it’s about Jesus Christ and our mission to him.” Money follows mission, he added.

OwensFifth, “God wants us to go deeper.” Keeping the mission alive will require people of depth, which means Christians have to step back from a frenetic culture. “Now fast food isn’t fast enough – you have to drive through to get it,” Miericke said to laughter.

Covenanters will need to continue growing deeper in their relationship with God if they are going to reach a culture in which many people don’t know the basic stories of the Bible, he added.

Sixth, Miericke declared, “God has empowered the church to be the light of the world.” He reminded the gathering that 120 people empowered by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost changed the world.

Finally, Miericke proclaimed, “We will be victorious.” Although current struggles may seem overwhelming, scripture is clear that “God has given us the victory.”

Earlier in the service, Robert Owens was installed to succeed Miericke as the new Southeast Conference superintendent (lower photo shows Owens and his wife, Mary Ann). Owens has been the conference’s assistant superintendent since 2001. To read more of Owens’ selection, please see “New Role.”

As denominational leaders surrounded and laid hands on Owens and his wife, Mary Ann, North Pacific Conference Superintendent Mark Novak prayed, “We ask that you would keep his voice fresh and clear to his churches.”

The service closed with communion.

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