I want to share two pictures. The first is a shot I took from my apartment complex. It is early Sunday morning. I am awaiting the sunrise, and the pool sits there calm and quiet. The fountains are off and there is nothing but sounds of birds in the background – with an occasional car leaving – hopefully to church. Here is what is going through my head – as I look at the pool, there is no evidence of anybody being in there just hours before. The water is calm. The area has been cleaned. Chairs have been aligned. And all is back to the way it was.
One professor once told me that ministry is like putting your hand in a bucket of water. You can splash around and do some real impressive waves and motions. But, once your ministry is over, and your hand is removed – the water will get calm again, as if you were never there.
This is not to belittle the impact on relationships, but I am commenting on the programming and the institutional existence. That is where the second picture comes in. I am not sure where I ripped it from, so apologies to the owner. But the image brings up so many thoughts and questions. Who went there? How many received the Word there? When did it start and when did they have their last service? Who got married there, buried there, baptized there?
But now, the church sits still, quiet, empty. There is no evidence of any previous events ever happening. I imagine it’s quiet except for the birds and rustling of leaves. It is returning to the same area as it was before.
Let’s bring this home … think about where you go to church. You may be on staff, volunteer, or just attend. Where will it be in 50 years? Today, First Baptist Dallas had their 150th birthday. Not every church makes it that long. Even churches mentioned in Scripture don’t stay on the scene forever (where are the 7 churches in Revelation?)
So, while there, do what you can – make a difference – splash around. But remember, real change and impact is not by our power – but His power alone. And impact on lives impact eternity. But churches come and go — yet His Church remains forever.
Until then, let’s make some waves.