Monday, January 25, 2010

A Ten Year Old Mission Statement

Sunday morning was incredible. There was such a good vibe in the worship services, and so many people told me that they felt it, too.

One of the coolest things happened during the sermon. I was preaching on God's mission, specifically as Jesus describes it in Luke 4:18-19. I had talked about the feeling of being sent by God to make the world a better place, and how when we are younger we feel like we can change the world but as we age we gradually lose that feeling. I was trying to say that the church needs to reclaim that idea, that we can make the world a better place, more like the way God wants it to be.

Well, I moved on to a more specific focus, talking about how the church is the body of Christ in the world today, sent on the same mission Jesus Christ was sent on. And how when we lose sight of that mission and start focusing on other things, we lose our connection to God and become just another social organization among many.

I then put it to the congregation like this. "If you wore a nametag that said 'I go to Campbell United Methodist Church' and someone came up to you this week and asked you, 'Why does Campbell United Methodist Church exist,' what would you say?" I then asked for people to call out their responses.

I clarified that the question wasn't "Why do YOU go to Campbell," but rather "Why does Campbell exist." The responses were slow to start off, but they began to come after a while. "To connect people together." "To share the love of God with others." "To offer Christ to people."

And then, in a quiet but confident ten-year-old voice from the middle of the room - "To change the world."

There it is. There's a mission statement for ya! Why does the church exist? To change the world. And who says it out loud better than anyone else? A ten-year-old.

The Holy Spirit was thick in the room at that moment. I had to repeat what he had said so that everyone could hear it. People craned their necks to try to see who it was, and whispers could be heard as the grown-ups asked one another who had brought the sermon to a halt with a burst of Holy Spirit-inspired truth. Because for a few moments there I literally could not go on. The sermon was irrelevant, insignificant fluff. Power had been spoken aloud, and I did not know how to procede.

So I didn't - for a while. I had to let the moment expand and wash over people. My mind, my heart, and my voice were all caught up in what had just happened.

What more needs to be said when a ten-year-old believes that his church exists to change the world?


RevL said...

Amen, Andy! Thanks for sharing this powerful experience of the Holy Spirit at work!

bob said...

The only question then would be how to effect such change and what to change the world into.