A Message From Arthur

Talent is a wonderful word. 
In Jesus’ day it meant a “boatload of money” but it is not a linguistic accident that it has developed to mean a set of gifts, aptitudes and skills to us today. As Jesus describes in his parable, each of us is in possession of a set of talents—some of us more than one! St. Andrew is a church of people with a lot of talents.

This year we are celebrating our 35 year anniversary, and it is obvious from where I sit that we are blessed as a congregation. From our beginnings with Robert Hasley to now, we have grown – taking what God has given us and growing it.

The kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.

-Matthew 25:14-17

As we celebrate all that God has done so far, though, it raises a question: what do we do with what we have today?
The one thing we can’t do is what the third servant did. He who had received only one talent came and said, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground.” This church has far more than one talent and we won’t bury it in the ground. We will use every resource and talent that God has given us. We are not done.

Robert keeps telling us that we are just getting started!

Let us not see things as they are, but to look at ourselves as God does, and see what can be. God is always working, and we are God’s co-creators. Let’s not settle for the status quo. The vision for the future of St. Andrew is that we become the most influential church in America helping Christian leaders move from centers of influence that may or may not be Christian to Christians of influence. I see a future in which we engage influencers and leaders to claim Christ as the center of families, careers, dinners, businesses, education, and lives. The way we do this is to begin taking steps. With each step, let’s move further up and further in toward the kingdom of heaven. Done properly, these should entail growth. It is not just about taking a handful of people and making them better, but rather creating momentum for each person to go further up and further in their faith 
with Christ.

Join with me in 2022, and let’s start. Let us look to where God is leading and take bold risks of faith to double the talents we have been given.

Arthur Jones
Senior Pastor, St. Andrew UMC

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