Friday, April 22, 2016
What are we followers known for?
This week, join me in a little experiment.
Right now, our congregation is in the process of surveying the membership—asking for their perspectives on Faith Lutheran Church. What do we do well? What are our opportunities to grow?
The perceptions of our own members are important. They will be useful as we reflect on our ministry as it is, and where we go next.
However, something this survey process is not taking into account is what everyone else thinks of us.
Yes, the wider community: our neighbors who live down the street, the people who shop and work in the businesses in the area, the people who pass by on University Avenue day after day, the ones connected to some other faith community, and the “nones.”
What do they think of us?
What are we known for?
If you asked them, what would they say?
Would they have anything to say?
In these last moments before his betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion Jesus has some important parting words for his disciples. More than last minute instructions, it is a new commandment: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
This love is about more than just benefitting the disciples, the believers, the insiders. This love is to be a witness to the world, an identifying characteristic, a sign. This love is not to stay among the community, but radiate outward, in a way that others can’t help but notice.
Are we known for our love?
I dare you, ask someone who is not a part of this congregation.
For it is from the outside looking in, that we will we find out if we are truly living as Jesus’ disciples.