Over Christmas, my wife and kiddos bought me some presents that I absolutely treasured. (Notice I said ‘wife and kiddos’—a big step for me, since I only quit believing in Santa at the age of 38. But, I digress!) My family knows well not only what I like (anything Cincinnati Bengals, Colorado Rapids, or Arsenal) and what I need. I know I was a grown-up when I started enjoying getting clothes for Christmas! The people who know you best, also are the ones who know your heart.
Do we believe that this church belongs to Jesus? Sometimes, I overhear people saying that ARBC is “my church.” That statement is good—if you realize how God has called you to invest in others. But that statement can be bad: “This church belongs to me and what I say, goes!” Goodness, just typing that statement gave me the chills, for Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
Now we come to the hardest question any organization (church or otherwise) could ask itself: “Why do we exist?” That can stop you in your tracks, right? It’s the type of question that you think you know and take for granted that you have the answer… until you realize that you have trouble articulating it clearly.
We may say, “Well, we exist to win others to Christ!” If you get down to it, that’s a ‘what’—it’s what we do, but this sentence doesn’t clearly state why. You may say, “We come to grow in the Word and to love each other.” This may split some hairs, but that’s actually a how, not a why. It’s more behavioral. Helpful, but not quite it!
I’ve struggled for four years—four years—begging God to give me a why that each and every one of our people can rally around. In our day, when the world is unraveling at the seems, what can help the Christian focus. Then it happened as a result of a conversation I had about this very subject with Jim Misloski, our State Missions Director (East Side) for our Colorado Baptists.
The why is this: we exist to glorify God (Psalm 115:1). Now, were you like me, having that V8 moment when you hit yourself square in the forehead?
The what is this: make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Our ‘Gather to Go’ serves this purpose, gathering as disciples to go and make disciples.
The how: our grow in the Word, love one another, serve our neighbors, and go to the nations behaviors serve this purpose.
On the plane ride back to Denver from Kentucky, it hit me. Hard. Between-the-eyes hard. A vision is a preferred future. What’s mine? What’s God’s? What should be ours?
Where every heart in Denver believes that Jesus is enough. That’s it! The sufficiency of Christ. We live in a city where the majority say, “Enough of Jesus!” We (metaphorically) scream back, “No, Jesus is enough!”
This speaks to our church as well, where Christ is assumed and peripheral issues come to the forefront.
This speaks to our culture, where Christ is erased from the collective conscience.
This why fuels the what and the how. The sufficiency of Christ as we preach, sing, go to Sugar City, work in our cubicle, drive down the highway, write that letter, serve that neighbor. We must want this for our city! It’s not about us anymore. God has given us a present on a tree named Jesus. What He did was enough to secure our salvation, our walk in Him, and our eternal life. He is enough—He’s more than enough. You know it…
… don’t you want your city, your state, your nation, your world to know it, too? God know what we need and what our world needs!