Week of June 26, 2016

 

Week of June 26, 2016
Faith Marks
Director of Music and Young Adult Ministry
Vlog Transcript
I know that there were a lot of people who were left disappointed, or confused, or both, after the June 5th congregation meeting.  The sanctuary redesign, which supports the technology upgrade, passed, but narrowly enough that Pastor decided to press pause and give us a moment to think.  His letter following the meeting challenged us to think, is this right?  Is it good?  What is the difference?  And, at the time of the meeting, it became to clear to us that the timing was not yet good, even though it “rightly” passed the vote.

 

So, we are going back to the drawing board.  The church is people, and YOU, being a part of our church, have expressed a lot of feelings regarding the proposed changes to our sanctuary layout.  And we hear you.  So here I am, to have a conversation and talk about the real issue at the heart of the emotions we felt at the June 5th meeting:

 

WHY?  Why would we need to change to layout in order to implement our technology upgrade? To answer that question, we have to first answer the question, WHY are we doing this project to begin with?

 

Technology, in and of itself, cannot connect people to Jesus.  Neither can a building.  Our building, and technology, are simply TOOLS.  Only God can change hearts, but he chooses to use us to communicate to the lost that there is hope.  Even though we can never earn the gift of heaven on our own, we don’t have to.  Jesus did it for us!  All we have to do is believe.

 

The technology upgrade and sanctuary redesign is a way to help ALL of our ministries better communicate the gospel in order to connect people to Jesus!  I think that is something we can all agree with, is both good AND right.  That’s why we’re here, right?  To communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

What does the Bible say about communicating the Gospel?  Let’s take a look at Paul.  See, Paul was able to connect with both Jews and Romans, because Paul was both Jewish in heritage and a Roman citizen.  Once Paul became a Christian, he was no longer required to follow the many, many, Jewish laws that once bound him.  When Jesus came as the final atonement for sin, all the additional sacrifices, ceremonial cleansing, and more, was no longer necessary.  Forgiveness was now found in faith Christ Jesus, and freedom followed!  Yet Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19-24:

 

“Though I am free, and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like the Jew to win the Jew.  To those not having the law (the Gentiles) I became like one under the law (though I am not free from God’s law but, am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.  I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

 

So let’s take a moment for some application here.  What in the world is Paul talking about?  Is he talking about deceiving people, tricking them into believing he’s something that he’s not?  No.  Paul is talking about something which Jesus was very passionate about and reflected in His ministry:  meeting people where they are, so that we might more effectively communicate the gospel.

 

Technology helps us meet people where they are today.  Technology helps us to speak their language, so to speak.  Are we effectively communicating the Gospel if we go to Ecuador and preach the Gospel in French?  Probably not.

 

Our physical space also plays a large role in how we can communicate the gospel AND how we can incorporate that technology.  The clearest, most relatable example that I can think of in this situation is the Preschool Christmas program.  The line was out the door and

we ran out of parking.  People arrived over an hour ahead of time to try to get a good seat because they know that they can’t see their child standing on the floor up front if they get a seat in the back of our sanctuary.  Now, we can purchase an expensive camera and put an image of their child on the screen, but honestly?  They didn’t come to watch the screen.  They came to see their child!  And what is that child doing?  Communicating the gospel to the very people we are trying to reach.  Here’s some food for thought: i

s our communication likely to be effective if the gospel message cannot be seen or heard?

 

Our worship services communicate the Gospel in preaching, reading, and music as well as visually on our screens.  But it’s not just worship ministry that communicates the gospel!  Our sanctuary is also used by children’s ministry, preschool ministry, bridge ministry, youth ministry, and community functions.  And all of these ministries are working together to effectively communicate the gospel in order to connect people to Jesus for eternity.  Let’s become all things to all people, as Paul said, and put the needs of these ministries first, in order to “save some.”  And what happens when we do?  As Paul stated, we share in God’s blessings.