"What's it all about?"
Thoughts from Pastor Scott...
I grew up with the phrase, "What the little bird shot at..." My family used it often to describe the fact that you had NOTHING and you were not going to get anything any time soon. In other words, you get what you are aiming for. This concept applies to the church as well. We need to have a direction based on our discernment of God's will for us as a church. Rick warren, the senior pastor at Saddleback Valley Community Church, which grew from a couple of families to over 10,000 members in 15 years, said, "What would I say if I had one chance to speak to all of the unchurched in this community? How can I say it in a way that disarms their prejudices and objections to attending church?"(1) The point is to have a focus, a goal so that we know where we are going and have a track to run on. The disappointing thing about The Church today is its lack of focus. Too often we get what the little bird shot at because that is what we have used as our focus; nothing!
I am beginning a series of sermons on The Great Ends of the Church in June. This series is one preached often in our denomination because these ends are listed at the beginning of the Book of Order, the book of government for the PCUSA. The purpose of these "ends" is to help the church fulfill its mission in the world and believe an excellent outline for us today. My hope is that together we will be able to focus our energy and mission to avoid the dreaded aim of the bird! We have an overall mission and a purpose here in Bridesburg, but what are our focused goals here in our community? We want to grow! Well, Warren says there are 5 things that will enable a church to grow.
1) Warmer through fellowship
2) Deeper through discipleship
3) Stronger through worship
4) Broader through ministry
5) Larger through evangelism (2)
These 5 things are not the end of our focus search, rather; they are the starting point for us. As we set our aim on God's will for us then we will accomplish our goal of becoming the Church of Jesus Christ here at Bridesburg. "If we concentrate on building people, then God will build the church." (Rick Warren). How high are we willing to aim? What are we aiming to be? Just some thoughts...
1 Warren, Rick,, The Purpose Driven Church. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995, page 41
2 Warren, page 49