Right now I am working on my first major do-it yourself project at home. One the key things I am learning is the key to how you begin your work. You cannot just start building or demolishing without preparing the work site, getting key tools, and thinking your work through. Now this may sound simple and straight forward, I mean how someone could not think carefully about the first steps, or the foundations that a project will be based around. Yet I think that sometimes we at church can be the worst culprits of doing this very thing.
I believe that too often God is not the center, the beginning, and the foundation of the work of Christians and churches. Often discussions around church begin with logic and reasoning that has little to do with God, but instead preferences or strategic goals. As we look to scripture we see a very different example laid out. In this passage of Acts 15 the disciples are coming together for a first church council meeting to make some decisions on a number of heated topics, “When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them”. (Acts 15:4 TNIV) Long before they began to get into the “business” of the church their conversation started with God. What has God done? How do we sense God moving and working around us? By hearing and seeing how God is already at work they knew it would help them make better decisions.
In Psalm 78 we read about the importance of story. The Psalm is about passing along your story and faith to your children so that they may continue to pass it along saying, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.“ (Psalm 78:4, TNIV) The focus of their story is not about great leaders or people, but about God.
As we seek to be God’s people, and do his work in this community is that where our center is? If God is our center, we will be able to better discern his leading, and know where He is calling us. What would our ministry team meetings look like if we began with sharing how God is at work? It is so encouraging to hear about God’s work, and I believe we need to take more time to share about the work of God we see all around us. I leave you with a few words from this song, “Jesus Be the Center”
Jesus Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in my sails
Be the reason that I live
Jesus be my vision
Be my help
Be my guide Jesus