One of the things I take very seriously is the teaching theme and calendar of our church. There is a lot of prayer, meditation, and discussion with our elders that goes into what we teach and preach during our Sunday gatherings.
As we’ve started this year’s theme of “Every man, woman, and child”, I recognize how far I have to go in order to live a life of mission. I’ve realized that many times the greatest hindrances that you and I have in living a life on mission are the idols in our hearts. What it comes down to is that we all love certain things more than Jesus. It’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth. We can do a lot of talking about mission, but the proof of our faith will always be manifested in our lives.
I can’t help but think about what our church would look like if we were unshackled from the idols that rob us from the Kingdom joy and work that God wants for us. Talking about idols of the heart is always difficult because we don’t like looking at reality, but reality is our friend. There are times that hard things need to be confronted and said.
This leads me to share with you that after we get back from our mission trip, on March 16 we’ll be starting a new series at Providence talking about the biggest idols we all face: money, sex, and drugs.
I know that some churches talk about these things in order to be provocative, but our desire is rather to address these things because there are idols in our lives that are keeping us from being a church that is fully realizing our kingdom potential in Christ. Simply, we cannot live on mission while holding onto the idols of the world.
Over the next few months we’ll be talking about some hard things, but, more importantly, necessary things. If we want our church to mature, there are things we need to confront and talk about.
I was talking with someone from our church the other day and they were sharing how in their corporate culture, the leader doesn’t like to hear about the problems that exist in the company. Maybe you’ve felt frustrated by a similar work culture. The church should be different. We need to courageously and boldly talk about the problems and issues that lie before us.
I share this all of you, so that we will all be in prayer to see and hear what God wants us to see and hear. We need to pray that we would be courageous enough to confront our deep seated idols, so that Jesus would receive the worth and glory that is due His Name.
May we all be free to experience the joy in worship and the power of mission in Jesus’ Name. We’ll see you all in a couple weeks.