Church for the Sake of the World- What does it mean?
How do we as a church live into and out from being a global church, from being a body of Christ called to serve the world? Rev. Justin Eller from the We are Church for the Sake of the World working group posed this question during their first podcast. As part of its overall mission, the Nebraska Synod focuses on developing ministries and growing disciples in the hopes of accomplishing this great task. Ministries such as global mission, justice, hunger and poverty alleviation, faith formation, outreach, stewardship, and Mission Field Nebraska allow the synod to serve the world in many ways, changing lives. We also partner with Serving Arms organizations to reach out further into the community and across the globe.
It is through the many ministries of the synod and the partnerships with the Serving Arms that we can reach out and embrace different communities and groups. Through our faith formation ministry and our partnership with Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (Camp Carol Joy Holling) and Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry, the synod reaches youth and young adults. Through our justice, hunger and poverty ministries and our work with Lutheran Family Services and Mosaic, the synod helps those in need and further develops social ministries. With our global mission ministries, we can walk together with our brothers and sisters in other countries. Mission Field Nebraska allows the synod to work with specific worshipping communities, such as ethnic specific and prison ministries. Partners like Immanuel and Tabitha help the synod to better serve the elderly population. And with several other partnerships with our other Serving Arms, the synod responds to God’s call and invitation to do some of God’s work around the world.
Being a church for the Sake of the World means walking together with both those in our own communities in Nebraska and those in communities across the globe. The synod is proud to have global partnerships with the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Argentina and Uruguay, as well as with the Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. We provide annual opportunities to travel to Argentina and Tanzania for synod members to participate in accompaniment and grow as disciples while learning about other cultures and worshipping with our global brothers and sisters.
Being church for the sake of the world also means serving God’s world in seemingly small ways, such as being a visible sign of the church in court when accompanying immigrant minors through AMMPARO. Or serving in perceived bigger ways, like volunteering your time and money to participate in a synod adult mission trip to help rebuild after natural disasters. The Nebraska Synod does all this and more, as the church together- with you, your sisters and brothers across Nebraska, the ELCA, and all around the globe. Together we respond to God’s work for us, by growing disciples, walking together, and serving God’s world. It is by fulfilling this mission that the synod lives into being a global church and answers the call to serve the world.