In the past few months, I have dove into a personal project that God put on my heart around the first of this year. It wasn’t such a burden than I felt compelled to jump in immediately, but rather, one that the Lord clearly gave me much discretion on. So back toward the end of June, it came front and center.
Through emails, blogs, articles, social media, brochures, and even introductory ministry tools that come in quite frequently, I’ve been studying how much of “church” material whether promotional or communicative, is predicated on the account, record, or story of one person or one individual. Additionally, I dug into how many instances “I” “me” “mine” and “myself” appeared. In essence, all the personal, singular pronouns. Through engaging in this for the better part of 9 weeks, so much became obvious and seemed to reiterate what the Lord was saying all along (since the first of the year).
There is no “I” in church, yet, God builds His church on individuals and people and creates a common, unified experience while utilizing different paths to get us to Himself. At the same time, we very much live in a day when people showcase themselves through a variety of means. The culture has this pull, this force, this presence where a constant stream of data, and pictures, and captions, and emoji’s, and videos, and individualized marketing runs rampant. But the question remains: Aren’t we, the Church of Jesus Christ, commanded to be about “we” and what the Lord has done and is doing through “us?”
The power of His church is found in how God ascends and in how we ought to descend. The Word claims this testimony from John, a disciple and later an apostle for the Kingdom who was an eye-witness to Jesus’ life and ministry: “He must become more and I must become less” (John 3, v.30). That wasn’t just an implication for that day and time, it was a word of truth that we must adopt and continue to pursue today (as challenging as it may be). We must decrease.
Our statement is: “We are better together!” – and that means that we are better as a community and as a team. Let our message be: Help us not to somehow communicate that we are the standard, but that we will get out of the way so that Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, shines ever the more brightly through us. He is our model and He alone is our standard.
Teamwork makes the dream work! Always does.