More on Outward Focus.
This weekend’s message examined how we value outward focus as a church. And a portion of the message was about bringing the good news of Jesus to people that, in some way, are unlike us—whether in their beliefs, their prime motivators, their Sunday morning practices, their dress, their native tongue, etc. Churches, historically, who have understood this and worked beyond differences toward an outward focus have grown. Churches who have ignored this often die out. So we have settled on being an outward-focused church.
I was blessed to experience a dose of success in this arena on Sunday as a number of you hovered around a grill and some good midwestern picnic fare out in the parking lot. You interacted with a number of different individuals who actively participate and live in our community.
Here is an additional thought that I didn’t have time to share on Sunday: Bringing the message of Jesus to the world is an infusion of Christianity but not of our personal culture. Being outward-focused means we are working toward the conversion of hearts [by the Holy Spirit through our messaging], but it doesn’t involve force-feeding our particular culture onto our audience. Sunday in the parking lot was all about trying to connect and not about trying to force culture. It was step one in bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is hurting and doesn’t know it—relationship. We simply stood in the community and engaged everyone we could. A few didn’t have time, but about 90% of the people we asked came over for a burger and chips. This is what we’re meant to do—let’s keep it up.
This coming weekend (Worship@Como) offers some of that same level of engagement: good food, picnic pavilion, Sunday in the park, games, and more. Pray for God’s blessing on this event and on a growing overall culture of outward focus.
And I pray that God’s blessing rests on each of you. There are many people you love and care about, and Jesus has the greatest gift available to them all. He is going to use your personality and your friendship to connect with them and engage them in a life-changing message. Peace to you in Christ.