Charlie is our two year old English Springer Spaniel. Like most dogs, he has brought joy, laughter and companionship to our lives, along with periodic moments of intense frustration.
Most of that frustration can be attributed to Charlie’s greatest asset: his nose.
Coupled with ninja-like reflexes and an impressive degree of stealth, Charlie is an expert at identifying a target, commandeering said target, and then flashing those brown, irresistible puppy eyes in an effort to tug at our heart strings. This method has landed him countless slices of bread intended for sandwich-making, chicken breasts cooking on the grill, wayward socks dropped between the dryer and the bedroom, and several other things that I don’t have room to mention.
While his nose gives him a great deal of focus on the things he wants in the moment, it also serves as a tremendous distraction. Walking him through the neighborhood looks more like a child chasing a bouncing ball than a person walking a dog, as he darts relentlessly toward every smell that grabs his attention. More than once, his hyper-active attention to every smell that enters his nostrils has left me struggling to find balance with a leash wrapped around my ankles.
Sometimes, leading a church feels the same way.
The mission is simple enough: go and make disciples. But as disciples (and people), we so often find ourselves chasing things that lead us in so many directions that we resemble my dog trying to get from point A to point B.
The truth is, there as so many things that seem worth our time: decisions to be made regarding our facility, things going on at the denominational level, what kind of food should be brought to the pot luck, managing cash flow…the list goes on.
All of these things are important, but just as Jesus never once deviated from his greater mission of the cross, we too, must remain focused. As I often remind myself when I stand up to preach: we have one job: give them Jesus.
In the church, there are so many good things to talk about, and for the most part, I love talking about them. Mostly, I love talking to you! As we have those conversations, though, I want you to know the passion of my heart: sharing the hope of the Gospel. As we move into the Fall months, I trust that you will share my passion and my focus. Just as a focused life is one that bears fruit, a focused church is an effective church. I love walking the path of discipleship with you, and I can’t wait for the next step!