This past Sunday, I gathered with Mom, Mary, KA, and a few other family members for some worship time together at Mom’s Church. This is the same Church we attended growing up. Attendance is down and the average age seemed to be going up. Whenever we’ve worshipped there, it’s been life giving as you can’t help but pick up some energy and love radiating from Mom singing and smiling next to you. So good. This Sunday was different. A new Pastor (William) was leading this congregation and leading it well. There was new energy from the front and it was contagious.
Pastor William took us through the elements of an exciting Church. He shared scripture from the book of Acts, told stories about John Wesley, the Apostle Paul, and Jesus. He spoke from his heart without any notes and like a true mathematician (Math major) tied it all together with solid logic and sound reasoning. The message was captivating. He laughed at the current state of the Church in America and reminded us not to worry about it. He reminded us that the aim at growing attendance is the wrong recipe. Systems do not grow because we focus on growing them any more than teams win when we tell them “just win, baby.” Growth is an outcome. You and I cannot control outcomes. Focus on what you can control, friend. Marinate in God’s word. Build a stronger sense of self, become more core centered and self controlling, receive God’s love, and become a conduit (not cul de sac) and let His love flow through you. As William reminded us this past Sunday, focus on increasing God’s word in you. Focus here.
Acts 19:20 “So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” Focus here. God, help me marinate on your word and let it grow mightily in me. God, help me stop the incessant focus on outward growth, wins/losses, and other short sighted aims. God, help me play the long game and play it with love. Where, friend, is your focus? Are you gaining more sustainable strength within or overly fixated on just win, baby? Slow down and sit with this for awhile. Slow down.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…