Lord Jesus Christ, speak to me.
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 2 Peter 1:12-15
Does anyone remember what the “Day 1” devotional was about? How about the first sermon I did this year on the “State of the Church?” It had to do with the vision of The Bridge? Well, since no one can seem to remember, let me do as St. Peter did above and remind you of a few things! It is so easy to forget, so easy to get sidetracked.
The vision of our church in a nutshell is to be “outwardly-focused”” such that we are always striving to reach outside of the church walls and connect with people who are apart from God and help them get reconnected with God. One scripture verse that we use along with our vision statement is Colossians 4:2-6. In it, we find 3 bits of wisdom in being outwardly-focused:
1) Talk to God about your community. In another word, pray. Pray for Morrisville, your neighborhood, your neighbor. Pray that their hearts would be open to responding to God’s call on their lives. God is knocking on the door of their hearts, pray that they would open them.
2)Don’t waste your opportunities. God gives us everyday as an opportunity to shine His light into people’s lives through our lives. We don’t live next door to people so we can ignore them! They are our neighbors! Be neighborly! Invite them over! Watch a ball game together. Babysit their kids. Take them some muffins. Help them with their car. Cut their grass. Serve them. Love them. Invite them into your life. And by all means possible, show them the difference that God makes in a life.
3)Talk to not-yet-Christ followers. Colossians 4 tells us to be “full of grace” and to have our conversations “seasoned with salt.” We can’t do this without engaging in conversation. This point goes hand-in-hand with the #2 above. Connect with people. Talk to them. Don’ ignore them. Build friendship. Open up your life. Don’t allow your social life to only be with family or friends from church. Build friendships at work, in the neighborhood, wherever. And as you converse with them, be salty. Taste good. That is the life of God pouring out of your life such that when we connect with people, they will want to know what makes our lives taste so good. And the saltiness is the life of God in us.
How is your outward focus going? Next Sunday, we will have newcomers at church. We want them to feel welcome. The only way we can do this is to be outwardly-focused. We come prepared for guests. We come prepared to meet the needs of others, not our own. Before next Sunday, pray for our community, look for opportunities to build relationships, converse and shine the light of God into the lives of those around you.