Last Sunday evening, after Life Group, I went into the Norman's back yard (meeting at their house that evening). All of the kids were back there playing. I picked up this paddle--a strange looking thing with suction cups covering one side. "Henry" (about four years old) then picked up another paddle (identical to the one I had). He ran into the yard, turned around, and threw a ball toward me. I caught it and threw it back to him. Instant game. We played immediately.
Sometimes we seem to always be getting ready in churches but we don't "play" very much.
We just need to know more.
We just need to get prepared.
We just need to get organized.
We just need another class, sermon series, etc.
We just need for someone to tell us how to do it.
Then we say, "We have so much potential." Potential for what?
When do we play? What does the game look like? How will we know when we really are playing?
You can have a fairly respectable church, be religious and (as Eugene Peterson has noted in Working the Angles) have very little to do with God. Get organized. Buy a building. Prepare a budget. Talk about the Bible. Have talkers in place for Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. Have some committees and some special projects. Have meetings and more meetings. Put together documents. Have plans. Talk about the future. "Come back next week and we will do it again."
But when do we play?
Yet, it is possible to do all of that and not have the new life Jesus offers.
We play whenever the body of Christ both experiences the life of Jesus and expresses the life of Jesus. We experience the life of Jesus as we are "born from above" (John 3:3 NRSV). We need God to be at work from outside ourselves if we are going to experience the life that only Christ gives.
The body of Christ expresses the life of Jesus through day to day ministry. Loving service that reflects his heart. The heart and soul of a church is what GOD is doing through the body of Christ. What stands out about the church is not it ministers/pastors/elders/or other church leaders. Our life is not found in our buildings or our large numbers, etc.
Our treasure is the life of God that we possess and now desire to express through loving service in practical ways. We express his life through our relationships and the way we handle ourselves with people in general. What counts is the way you are allowing the life of God to be seen in you in your little corner of the earth.
- Do people see in you a deep and abiding satisfaction in God?
- Can the life of God be seen in you during tough times?
- Do you treat others as you think Jesus would?
- Do you relish the opportunity to share the source of your life?
It is time to play. That begins when we step into the world today and get serious about doing what you think Jesus would do. Just be who you are. A a Christ-follower, you are a man or woman possessing the very life of God.