My Life’s Goal
I keep hearing nowadays glowing (at times boastful) reports about churches that are growing numerically. Most churches, after all, have a “vision to grow.” To tell you the truth, I have very little interest in numerical size anymore. I’ll teach a class with 3 or 30 or 300 students in it. It doesn’t matter to me in the least. My goal is not class size or popularity. My goal in life, to paraphrase something Kent Smith once said, is to:
1) Love, hear, and obey Jesus.
2) Lead others to love, hear, and obey Jesus.
3) Lead those who lead others to love, hear and obey Jesus.
How awesome! Christianity is all about Jesus! What it all comes down to is this: If you are a Christian, your life must say, “Come, my friends, let’s take our eyes off lesser things and reorient ourselves first to Him. He is worthy!”
So then, as I “re-imagine” church, here’s what I long to see: a congregation who is on fire for Jesus, whose loyalty to Jesus takes precedence over anything and anyone else, whose life centers solely on Jesus, whose every other activity witnesses to this one Jesus, who seeks first His kingdom and righteousness, whose empowerment and direction flow from Jesus, whose every activity is placed on trial before the judgment seat of Christ, who promotes the Christ-centered life, who sits in the shadow of His glory, who exists to minister to the Lord and others in His name, who refuses to “sell” Christ, and for whom the Righteous One is worthy of their focus and attention and obedience forever and ever.
F. W. H. Myers’ magnificent poem about the apostle Paul says it this way:
Christ’s! I am Christ’s! And let that Name suffice you; Aye, for me too He greatly hath sufficed. Lo, with no winning words I would entice you; Paul has no honor and no friend but Christ.
And let’s not forget: This same Jesus asks us to expand our horizon to the whole world, to wrap the entire globe in our arms.
Church, let’s love Jesus! Let’s hear Jesus! Let’s obey Jesus! Let’s get radical for Jesus! Let’s get dirty for Jesus!
If we do this, the church will “grow,” because it will be Jesus who is building it.
August 29, 2008
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.