Dear Windermere Friends,
In my opinion, never has it been harder to lead a local church. We live in very challenging times. I think churches need a faithful partner who understands how to minister.
I recall my early training as a recreation minister. We constantly talked about the theology and practice of leisure. For the next two weeks I want to share the ten aims of Windermere to serve the local church and be a faithful partner. Windermere aims to be:
1. A catalyst for outreach – I have talked with a few local church pastors who say they can’t really be great at everything. Churches have to choose where they can put time, talent and treasure in trying to reach the lost. A time tested, consistent friend to the local church is the retreat or camp. Windermere is the setting for over 1,000 professions of faith every year. Why? The gospel is presented without distraction. Where else can that happen?
2. An aid to worship – I am not really talking about methodology here. What I think Windermere provides is a unique setting for worship. Whether it is the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks or a campfire or an early morning devotion time…worship can be enriched and deepened by the unique setting offered by Windermere.
3. An instrument for mission action – Windermere has over 260 different groups that come to our campus. Each group represents an opportunity for mission service. Windermere utilizes over 1,000 volunteers and around 50 summer staff each year! I call them our missionaries. Our missionaries know people, they know what their needs are and they are willing to do whatever it takes to meet those needs so that the gospel can be clearly communicated. Windermere can help you be on mission and volunteer beyond the walls of your church.
4. An opportunity to practice discipleship – In Matthew 28 Jesus tells his followers to “go and make.” In other words disciples are doers. I am one who feels like we spend too much time on the gifts of the spirit as opposed to the fruit of the spirit. At Windermere the follower of Christ has multiple chances to model the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. Windermere is a laboratory for the disciple to practice and do.
5. A vehicle for ministry – Windermere can be the place where the follower of Christ can express ministry concern and compassion. I think the non-threatening time of relaxing, laid back fun can be the time when people share their deepest hurts, habits and hang ups. It makes sense doesn’t it? A shared time of freebee golf, a swim in the pool, or a hike can do more for ministry that a whole year back home! Windermere can be the place for life-changing ministry.
Next week we’ll look at the last five Windermere aims
It’s always a pretty day at the lake.
John W. Bailey
Office 573-346-5200 Ext. 2611