by Gami Ortiz
This week’s post is from the questionnaire completed by Gami Ortiz, our candidate to become Kossuth’s Pastor of Worship and Connections. Printed copies of Gami's full questionnaire are available at the welcome desk. The following excerpt shares Gami’s philosophy of ministry in the areas of worship, discipleship, and outreach.
Our Ministry Model and strategic plan operate around the words Gather → Grow → Scatter. (“Gather to encounter the grace and glory of God in worship, Grow to become mature followers of Christ, and Scatter to make disciples in our neighborhood and among the nations.”) How do you understand the church’s responsibility to Gather? How should it lead its members to encounter the grace and glory of God in worship?
Corporate worship is one of the elements of a healthy local church body. In the Acts 2 church, we see them devoted to the teaching of the word, fellowship, and prayer; gathering for worship both publicly (at the temple) and privately (breaking bread in their homes). This corporate worship allowed them to be encouraged, challenged, and equipped. Corporate worship is also an expression of unity – which Scripture stresses time and again for the body of Christ. In his high priestly prayer, Jesus prays, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one” (John 17:22). By our unity, not only do we proclaim Jesus (vv. 21, 23), but we also experience the glory – and grace – of God.
Our fellowship is also an expression of unity and worship. As we seek to honor God in our relationships with each other, we experience his grace through one another. God lives in perfect fellowship and harmony within his Triune nature and desires for us to do the same our fellowship with one another. In our relationships we ought to be pointing each other back to Christ, thereby communicating the love, glory, and grace of God. The same can be said of service – an expression of worship to God. The reality is that worship isn’t one single aspect of our lives. We were created to be beings that worship. As such, all that we do is worship (1 Cor. 10:31) which ought to be directed towards our Creator. As we gather, we encourage each other to this end – to worship God in our everyday lives. We then go out and glorify God in our individual walks with him and then gather again to celebrate corporately God’s work in our lives. This celebration often includes music, which comes from the heart and identity (culture) of the church expressed as worship to God.
How do you understand the church’s responsibility to Grow? How should its members be pursuing Christ-like maturity? Include your philosophy of ministry as it relates to discipleship.
The church’s responsibility to grow directly correlates to making disciples. Jesus’ last command to his disciples wasn’t just to make converts, but to make disciples, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). Ephesians 4:13-16 calls us to grow individually and as a body “in the knowledge of the Son of God” so that we are not deceived. We are to grow in maturity, “into Christ”, the head of the church, so that we can work together and build the church up in love. Referencing the early church again in Acts 2:42, we see believers devoting themselves to teaching. The church is called to teach right doctrine (orthodoxy), but making disciples goes beyond that to also teaching the “how” to put that into practice in everyday life (orthopraxy). This involves modeling that lifestyle for others and entering into meaningful relationships where both orthodoxy and orthopraxy have an opportunity to take root and flourish.
How do you understand the church’s responsibility to Scatter? How should its members be engaged in reaching their neighborhoods and the nations?
The church’s responsibility to scatter is centered on a missional heart. Going back to Jesus’ last command, we are called to make disciples of all nations. This mission and responsibility begins, is sustained, and ends with God himself. The precursor to this command was Jesus’ statement that he possesses all authority. It is in that authority that we go to make disciples. Jesus modeled mission for us in coming to us as flesh. He became like us, while remaining fully God. As we imitate his model, we must cling to our identity in Christ, while bridging the gap of differences in order to relate to and reach the lost. While this is easily seen in cross-cultural missions, it is the same in local outreach. We are to engage the lost in the world and in our own communities, seeking opportunities to relate to them, to proclaim Jesus and make disciples that follow him.
For more about Gami and the Pastor of Worship and Connections candidate process, see the two previous posts and related links. The Ortiz family will be with us again this Sunday during the connection hour (9:15 am), corporate worship gathering (10:30 am), and family gathering (6:00 pm). Please plan to attend! Any weather-related updates will be posted on ksbc.net/weather and Facebook by 7:00 am Sunday morning.