Today I feel very cyber-loved. See today is my birthday. Anyway, the reason I feel cyber-loved is because I have had many cyber-birthday wishes. They are great. I am on Facebook and I got Happy Birthdays from people I have not seen in years, but have reconnected with through this great medium.
Sending a cyber-happy birthday is a wonderful thing. But I must be honest, so far the best happy birthday wishes have been personally delivered. My wife was the first to tell my happy birthday. Then I got happy bdays from the kids. Melanie remembered and asked “Is today your birthday?” When I said yes she was not sure what to do next, so she just gave me a kiss. Now that is a happy birthday! They sang to me and gave me a present. My parents have called. One of my pals gave me a card reminding me I am still a baby. Stuff like that.
But by far the amount of happy birthdays I have gotten are mostly cyber-love. So I take that thought (which is actually a good thing) and connect it to another thought. One reason that cyber-birthday wishes are more numerous is that they are more convenient and there is a nifty birthday reminder on your home page in Facebook. In other words it is convenient and effective.
Often in our following Christ what is convenient and effective in our lives rob us of the ability to live out the Great Commission in our culture. At Fellowship Church we have a bold new vision to “Connect to Love, Grow, Serve, and Go.” This vision describes the chronological process of discipleship and our program and ministry process for doing discipleship. But it also and most importantly sets our priorities in Christ following.
Let me explain. Connecting to Love means to connect the lost to the love of Christ. We do this through lifting high the name of Jesus in our daily lives through influence and our corporate lives through our worship services and community service events. That is priority number one. That priority gets the most convenient location and time slot in our ministry. That priority gets the best out of our budget, most of our time, the focus of our creativity, etc…
Then we connect those who love Christ to growth in Christ. We do this through life groups. This priority gets seconds. It is not that it is not important, it is just second in priority. (If you are wondering where I got this priority list check out this passage. Matthew 28:18-20.) The meeting time might not be as convenient nor the location, but it is still very….very….very important. It is second.
Then we connect to serve through our place of service in our local church. You can not serve the Body of Christ outside of the Body of Christ. Why is this third? Those who do not keep growing stop serving. We have to stay connected to the vine to bear fruit. It is very….very…important. it is third.
Then we connect to go though living our lives of influence through the circles God has put us in. He put us where we are and when we are for his purposes. So we live out the truths of Christ and speak them in our daily lives. Our goal in that is to get people to Connect to the Love of Christ. It is circular and it is very important.
Why is this connected to cyber-love thoughts? The closer we are to God the less convenient it needs to be for us to do the will of God in our lives. The closer a person is to the birthday boy impacts the effort they make in wishing him happy birthday. (All of it is love, but there is simply levels of that.)
Lost people will not go out of their way to find Jesus. Jesus went out of his way to find lost people. We must do the same. Put away your convenience so you can live by conviction. If your life as a Christian is not challenging, it is not what God commanded!
By the way, thanks for the Happy Birthdays. I do feel very loved but even more challenged. Fellowship Church and its pastor will not be a church of convenient Christianity it will be a church where God does great things because His people will do whatever it takes to do them. Actually, the response I have gotten in my recent leadership says IT ALREADY IS.
NOW THAT IS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT!
FC I LOVE YOU and I THANK GOD FOR YOU!
Another guys thoughts on this. http://www.stevenfurtick.com/leadership/too-good-for-our-own-goodThis guy usually brings it. His is a great blog. The one before is pretty god too.