This week Londa, Melissa and I are in Chicago. We are at the Arts Conference at Willow Creek Community Church. It’s the same church that hosts the Leadership Summit. You can check out the other ministries of Willow Creek by visiting www.willowcreek.com. God is really doing great things here and using this church to influence the culture of other churches worldwide.
Right now I sit in Dr. B’s Bistro – their version of HeBrews on a much larger, more professional scale – Dr. B’s is located in the massive foyer of their worship center. There’s a large double staircase to my left that goes both up and down…up to the mezzanine level of their worship center and down to their preschool and children’s area called, “Promiseland”. Everything about this place oozes professionalism, organization, money…Better than all those things, around every corner I find the smiling faces of church members who have volunteered to serve as hosts and hostesses. No less than 5 time I’ve been stopped by members of Willow who volunteered their time today in order to ask me where I’m from and about my church and to help me get wherever I needed to go in this massive structure they call a church…It’s larger than many shopping malls I’ve been in.
I look around and find myself surrounded by people – we’re all waiting for the next conference. Everyone seems relaxed and like their having a good time. We’re all just ‘hanging around’ at church and it seems like home. Here’s the greatest blessing for me…In spite of the massive building, obviously large budget and professional demeanor of those with whom I come in contact, this church doesn’t seem that different from our church. Obviously the scale is different. We lead 1200 people…they lead 20,000. But I sense the same spirit.
We serve the same God. I look at their stuff and the things they do with the people they have and think quietly to myself, “Scale – the primary difference is scale.” God has called them to reach their area – the Chicago metro – and with that calling He has given them the stuff to do the things with the people He has entrusted them to lead. The same is true for us at FBCO. God has called us to reach the Tulsa Metro and with that calling He has given us the stuff to do the things with the people He has entrusted us to lead.
And that’s where we need to spend some thought time today. What role has God called you to within your church? In what way are you fulfilling the ministry God has designed for you? Do you treat the ministry He has enabled you to do with professionalism, commitment and passion – or is it a passing fancy, one more thing to get done before your day is complete? Truth is I don’t come to a church like the one leading this conference because I want FBCO to be another Willow Creek. While it would be an amazing adventure for FBCO to influence the eternity as well as the daily lives and relationships of more than 20,000 people a week I’m much more interested in our church being the church in Owasso God wants us to be. This may mean that someday we lead 20,000 people in one location. It may mean we spread the Gospel through media or multi-site ministry or God may birth new churches and new ministries from within FBCO. However God chooses to lead us as a church what role do you play?
Let me encourage you to evaluate your role in ministry at FBCO. Do you handle the things of God carelessly or with the level of professionalism He deserves? We say our mission is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. This is not an expression of the calling of our pastor but a lifestyle of ministry, a pattern of obedience, a statement of faith that defines who we are as church, how we live as Believers and how we serve in the ministry God has called us to. This week ask God to show you how you’re doing with the ministry He has entrusted to you.
I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday. There will be no Choir or Instrumental Ensemble in the loft, but the Praise Band and Praise Team will meet at 8:00 to be ready for DADFEST 2006! And we’ll all be back together next Wednesday night for our regular rehearsals. Can’t wait to see you all!
Love y’all, God Bless,
PS…I love to hear from you! In your opinion what are we doing RIGHT in CAM? What needs improvement? How can we as members of the Christian Arts Ministry more effectively minister to our church? Think and pray with me as we get ready for all God has for us in the new school year!
PSS…FarPoint Weekend is coming!