Pastor Joshua Gale, at our mission festival this past Sunday, shared with us how important the “WHY?” is in what we do. He explained that often in the church we like to focus on the “WHAT” of our ministry… listing all the “things” that we do. He contends that if we really want to move forward in mission we need to start with the “WHY?”. He listed off leaders like Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer. Steve Jobs believed that computers would make the world a better place. He was able to inspire many people to do many great things in his company because he answered the question of “WHY?”. Essentially he was able to communicate the idea: “Come and work with me… because the world is going to be a better place with the computers we build.” That is quite the different message than saying “Come work with us because we have excellent computers.”
I am still working on what this means for myself as a pastor, and for us as a church… What is our “WHY?” supposed to be? I thought it was clear. I thought everyone knew. The WHY is Jesus, resurrected from the dead. Right? Because he loved us first? Because our sins are forgiven? Because there is no other name in heaven or on earth by whom we can be saved? Because with Jesus our lives are completely different and there is an answer to sin, death, and the devil?
I struggle from time to time (maybe you can’t tell)… It was a disappointment that the general attendance at our recent Mission Festival was not especially good. There were the folks who are always “there” (and I am thankful for them!), but I get the distinct impression that the movers and shakers of the generation coming up are not even the slightest bit connected to or motivated by the “WHY” of our lives as Christians. Maybe I shouldn’t judge the younger generation too harshly because they didn’t show up to a “Mission Festival.” WHY would they do that? Perhaps it isn’t a real indicator of their feelings… Maybe they just don’t see any connection between what they believe and care about – and what they do.
Wait! What did I just say? No connection between what they believe and what they do? Can such a thing be possible? Although sociologists seem to indicate that for the younger generations it most assuredly IS not only possible – but actually happens ALL the time, I am not so sure that the scripture can confirm it. According to Jesus the fruit of our lives is a direct reflection of our faith and what we “believe” (have faith and trust) in.
Perhaps there is such a thing as believing – but not too much… maybe “sort of” believing… Or believing as in “ascent”, but not really a “trusting” belief. Maybe the Bible calls that having a “luke warm faith”. I wonder what God has to say about that? (Check out Rev. 3:16)
It is a TOUGH call… Any thoughts?
I think the main thing that we have been unable to do is make a convincing case that the biblical principles of the fellowship of the saints, the power of corporate prayer, praise and worship has ANY benefit or meaning to our lives.
Why would you go – or not go – to a “mission festival”. WHY do we do anything? WHY did we stay home?