I’m a planner. Maybe it’s part personality and part an effort to be effective. To be honest, it can be a great source of frustration. The best made plans can turn out to be nothing more than an unused roadmap some days. Other days, your plans pan out and you feel as though you have made some progress.
Planners set goals. Goals are important because they can give us a sense of direction. The goals we set also say something about who we are and what we are about. Goals reveal our purpose.
Paul revealed his purpose when he wrote the Colossians; “My goal is that their hearts would be encouraged and united together in love.” The ultimate goal was that Paul would share the good news of Christ with the Gentile world. He had clarity of purpose.
If I had to articulate my goal as your pastor it would be the same as Paul’s statement. My goal is that your hearts would be encouraged and united together in love.
In that one sentence there are three powerful ideas that I would share with you.
The first is the power of having a clear goal that directs your life. Without clarity and a sense of purpose your life will always be lived in a reactive way. It would be like trying to navigate a river in a canoe without a paddle. All of us benefit from working on the clarity of our goals in life.
The second powerful idea found in Paul’s words is the importance of encouragement. Encouragement is an often overlooked and sometimes discarded virtue. To encourage someone means that you have helped them find their courage so they can stand back up to the challenges of life. All of us need encouragement.
The third idea that comes out of this verse is the importance of unity and community. The thing that holds all of us together is the gift of love. Love overrides our diversity and opinions. Love unites us. When we are united in love there is almost nothing we can’t accomplish together with God’s help.
These three ideas get lived out at Locust Grove by living into our purpose of being missional, bold, and inclusive.
Without a doubt, this month we will demonstrate our commitment to missions by going to Guatemala and also by serving the needs of those in our community.
We will continue to demonstrate boldness by renewing our resolve to change the conversation. This effort will focus on encouraging one another this month.
We practice inclusion by making room for everyone at the table. It is not about two chairs. It is and always has been about one table-our Lord’s table. He said, “whosoever will, let them come.” We will gather around the table this month and give thanks for the diversity that finds unity in Christ.
In order to accomplish this we will have to commit to being a place of encouragement and strive for unity in love.
My goal for Locust Grove is that your heart beencouraged and you be united in love.