“We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.”
We talk about it all the time, have it written in our bulletins and maybe on our church marquee signs, but what exactly does “a movement for wholeness” actually mean? Why do we talk about a movement rather than a belief in wholeness, a desire for wholeness, or even a practice in wholeness? While a movement itself is simply defined as “a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas,” for Disciples, this movement specifically involves unity and inclusion at the communion table, believer baptism, and so much more than the foundation of religious practices in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ.)
Moving for wholeness is having greeters at the doors; it is having visitor’s classes and information desks; it is mission work, and supporting the youth and children in our churches; it is the ministries within the church—the prison ministries, the military ministries, the women’s ministries, the prayer groups, the youth groups, the general board and elders, and so much more; it is the offering plate; it is every smile shared, every door held, and every prayer. The only problem with these things is that too often they get trapped within the walls of the church itself rather than being shared with the fragmented sectors of our world. Being a part of a movement for wholeness simply can’t stop inside of our comfort zones. It requires us to step outside of our security areas and to go where no one has ever gone before. We have already reached the 700,000 members inside of our churches, but what about the 352.46 million outside of our walls in the United States and Canada combined? How are we reaching out to the 728,000 people affected by homelessness, or the 165,000 orphans in the United States, with another 448,000 children in foster care, or the 67.6 million people who speak a foreign language at home? We have journeyed a long way on our mission, and for that we can pat ourselves on the back, but we still have so far to go. Being a movement for wholeness means we must actually keep moving. We cannot settle for stagnant waters, or complacence, or for just being “good enough.” It means striving for radical inclusion inside and outside of our walls, stepping out of our comfort zone, placing ourselves into the brokenness and doing everything that we possibly can to heal our communities with the unconditional love that we are shown through the love of Jesus Christ.
You have (have you?) already taken the first step by joining us for our literal movement for wholeness, but how can we spread the movement at home? How can we continue to facilitate the inclusion within the Lord’s Table rather than creating our own table and prepare believers for baptism? How can we establish a welcoming environment for visitors? And most importantly, where are the areas of brokenness in our home regions that are in desperate need of wholeness? I strongly encourage you to contemplate these questions during the month of March and during your walk with us as we work together to strengthen our “movement for wholeness in a severely fragmented world.”
Sign-Up to MOVE on our RunSignUp.com page.
Learn more about Disciples General Youth Council at discipleshomemissions.org.