Is A Plan Enough?
In the past few weeks I have delighted in bringing out my old Lego sets and putting them together with Robbie. I must admit that the older I have gotten the more I rely upon the little instruction manuals that came with each set. Even so, as I watch my son, he builds without the inhibition of a manual, making the most wonderful creations with little more than a passion to see his favorite things like cars, rockets, and planes come to life. After a few building sessions with him I long to look through his eyes once again and build with such a simple, singular passion. What holds me back? A devotion to creating just what the manual says we should have. Perhaps there is a lesson in this analogy for us all.
How many of us have an idea about what a church should be? I venture to say that we all have some ideas. Perhaps you think of worship services with great singing and fiery preaching. Maybe to that you add other groups like Sunday School and WMU or Brotherhood. Add in a healthy Children’s Program and a Youth Program and we are well on our way. With a few outreach events and our giving as Southern Baptists to missions through the Cooperative Program and we have built a church. Or have we? What if we have all of the right building blocks in place, but we lack the passion to participate in what we have produce? Even more troubling what if our production appeals to no one else for participation? This is the problem I discovered in my building sessions with Robbie. I just wanted to get all the right parts together, caring little for how or who participated in what was created. Can this be pleasing to God?
I want to suggest to you that we cannot settle for merely a planned production. Certainly as a church we must have a plan. The Bible lays out principles in Christ’s teaching summed up in the Great Commandment (see Matt. 22:37-40 and Mark 12:29-34) and church purposes we strive to accomplish (see Acts 2:42-47). These principles should guide us, but notice neither Jesus nor the apostles command programs that must be followed. Why? Look with me to the apostle Paul in Colossians 1:24-29. Especially in verses 28-29 Paul makes clear that he passionately devotes all his labors and Spirit filled energies to proclaim Christ in ways that bring those outside of the faith to maturity in Christ. What made Paul’s plan more than just building blocks? Passion for Christ preaching him as the gospel for all men – this is the Great Commission come to life! Church programs are just building blocks without life unless a passion to see Christ proclaimed brings life and energy to them. Further that passion may encourage us to adjust and change the makeup of a program to something different than its manual suggests. All of this is right and good as long as Christ is proclaimed.
In the month of July our church will be presented with the Vision Report and Action Plan that the Deacons asked to be complied. The report presents a vision statement to our church family intended as a passionate plea to support, encourage, and participate in the gospel. This vision statement reads “Reaching Out to Build a Family of Faith”. Further, the report offers a visionary process which helps our church family passionately pursue Christian maturity. The process encourages each church family member to Have Faith, Be a Family, Build Others Up, and Reach Out becoming Great Commission Christians. With the report is a Suggested Action Plan to be used as a guide to help us embody exactly what the Vision Report presents. Like the Lego manual this Action Plan is meant to guide us in putting the pieces together, but it is the Vision Report that offers us the gospel Passion needed to realize the Plan. Be in prayer this month as we seek God’s will in adopting this vision report and action plan so that we can proclaim Christ better and better as a church family!