All you want to know is … how was the fishing? All I want to talk about is … can you believe what God is doing around here? When asked about fishing, I hesitate. I go back to the purpose of fishing (especially when things don’t go so well, right?). And in talking about all the things God is doing at church, the answer can be skewed if the only thing that matters is … activity (catching fish).
What matters, of course, in discussing the success/failure of both topics is: what are the expectations and purposes? Let me wade in this morning (get the pun?).
If the purpose of fishing is to provide a meal, then we failed. Danny won the derby this year with two fish. We did each wrestle a huge one that got away. We will be investing in new leader line before we fish again, who knew it would snap after 20 years in the tackle box? The fish next to — but not in — the boat were big, but you won’t believe me so I will stop.
However, if the purpose of fishing is to enjoy creation and leave behind the stress of life, then fishing was a success. The joy of a few days with the whole family together in Mammoth was good for the soul. And fishing (what little we did) was relaxing.
And in a similar way, if I simply talk about the activity happening around the church, that can be misleading. Is it really a success simply to hire staff or remodel a building? No. The answer depends on purposes and expectations.
Your response to the financial crisis of April-June, has been overwhelming. Therefore, we signed a contract to begin the Daring Hope projects. And we hired an amazing Children’s Pastor, who can’t wait to get started. The future is bright, because of God, not because of activity itself.
Why do I say that? Because we cannot forget our purpose. We have a Children’s Pastor coming who will transform our ministry to children and families. In about eight months, we will have modern spaces to disciple each other and introduce the community to Jesus. The success is not found in the activity but in doing the work of God. And I sense God’s activity on Sunday mornings as we sing and laugh and share God-stuff together. Life is rough for many right now. We have some weeping to do. But we also have some rejoicing to do. Because God is at work.
As we keep our eyes on our purposes, we will be transformed by the Spirit to live together in peace. I’m not excited about the tools for ministry. I’m excited about the One who works within us. It’s all about Jesus.