J OSH MILLER is a pastor who is starting up a new church in Fort Collins, St Thomas Church. He brings a wealth of experience and amazing energy, so I have confidence that he’ll see success with this venture.
I first met him at a local Chamber of Commerce event. How unusual is that, right? It’s almost as if business relationships can’t at all be associated with spirituality.
So of course I just had to find out more.
Josh figures that he needs to get engaged with his new community, and wants to connect in any way possible. That might mean university connections, networking groups, even the business community.
He doesn’t make a big deal out of the fact that this is an Anglican church, because his focus is about connecting people with Jesus, God, spirituality, and helping to heal wounded souls. I’ve found myself that when you brand a person as “Catholic” or “Lutheran” or “Baptist” that people seem to focus on putting you in their preconceptions of that label.
We talked quite a bit about the intersection between ministry and business. Josh sees that there’s great possibility for people to exercise ministry through their role in a company – as an owner, manager, employee, whatever. Your job is, after all, a significant part of your life.
And as a business owner, you get to design ministerial aspects into the way the company works and how people relate to each other. Not just giving a check to a charity at the end of the year. “Ministering” is different than evangelization: It’s about helping people deal with their issues where they’re at.
Being a new church in town, St Thomas has all kinds of challenges to get through. Of course they have to get the word out, but Josh figures that’s relatively easy. A bit tougher is to get past peoples’ preconceptions of what they think churches are. There’s a lot of skepticism out there.
But mostly, there’s a lot of pain, anger, and confusion around churches these days. Some of it’s justified, some not, but it’s a reality. St Thomas is seeking to help people heal their wounds.
And to do that through a warm, welcoming, giving community.