It was three weeks ago today that Dad (Nate) "summoned" the three of us kids after lunch. He had returned home the day before after being diagnosed with stage 4 mantel cell lymphoma over the weekend. At that point we did not know if we had days, weeks, or months, but we had an awareness of wanting to connect and process. As we sat down in the living room, Dad posed the most professorial and pastoral question I could imagine: “What is the vision for the church in 2020?”
To be honest, we didn’t really try to answer his question—I told him point blank that I would try, but that I would also need to say what I needed to say, given the grieving and trauma that we were experiencing as a family. But as I reflected on that question over the next day or so, I found myself drawn to the VMMissions vision statement:
VMMissions envisions a Spirit-filled church of many cultures living out God’s kingdom in every sphere of life.
In fact, I even grabbed my binder to take with me to my parents’ house. I must admit that I never pulled it out as other questions and agenda became more pressing. But this is obviously a question that I carry with me—and one that I extend to us collectively—as we journey together:
What is the vision for the church in 2020?
And relatedly: What does it mean to be the church in the midst of COVID-19?