From Your Lead Pastor – April 2017
From Your Lead Pastor
I hope that you will prepare your hearts to approach Holy Week in a way that prepares you not just for Resurrection Sunday (a.k.a., Easter) but prepares you to live what some have called a ‘cruciform’ life. Cruciform means ‘in the shape of [form] the cross.’ Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). If you notice, when we see Christ’s love, we also see Christ’s giving (see John 3:16; Ephesians 5:25; 1 John 5:7-12, among others). Easter falls late this year (April 16).
Take time to invite those who have not been to church in a while to come to our Good Friday service on April 14 at 6:30 pm and to one of our Easter services on April 16 at 8:00 am and 10:30 am. Especially invite families with young kiddos to the 10:30 am service, for afterwards, we will have an egg hunt!
Simplify to Multiply
I’m so thankful to our by-laws evaluation team for going through our by-laws. Their charge was really around two words: simplicity and consistency. But this doesn’t just apply to by-laws, it applies also to church life as well.
Over time, organizations of any nature (and churches are no expectation) can become more complex as time goes on. It’s much like a certain hospital I visit frequently. You can tell the original building. But you can also tell where the extensions took place that seem initially to address an issue, but the one add-on becomes two and three and four—and pretty soon, you have a building that’s terribly difficult to navigate.
Churches can do the same thing. In an effort to address issue after issue after issue, we can add on policy after policy, by-law after by-law—and pretty soon we struggle to navigate.
We must simplify because Jesus kept it simple. Look at the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and you see the movement: Love God, love neighbor, make disciples. Growing in worship, loving others in gospel-centered relationships, serving our neighbors, and going to the nations! Jesus kept it simple, and so should we. Goodness, with what Jesus has said, this could pass the 3am test (that is, if I woke you up at 3am in the morning and asked you this pattern, you could do it and then drift back off to sleep.
Simplifying helps multiply. Jesus poured Himself into others (Matthew 10), as did the apostle Paul (2 Timothy 2:1-2) and so must we. We are called to multiply:
• Disciples (Matthew 28:18-20)
• Leaders (2 Timothy 2:1-2)
• Environments: classes, services, churches (Acts 13)
We can be so engrossed in the internal life and structures of the church (which is important, mind you) that we forget that church is about helping all of Denver and the nations believe Jesus is enough! Church is not sufficient unless Christ is the center! Leaders aren’t leaders unless they show and share Christ with those around them. We could start classes, add services, and plant/re-plant churches—but it’s to provide more places for people to hear and receive Jesus as their All-in-All. We can’t do any of this if we are bogged down by minutiae. We simplify to multiply and build up others in the sufficiency and excellency and delight of Jesus.
Is Christ enough for you? Is He of utmost worth to you? Do you live a life of delight in Him around your friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors—and at church?
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Jesus is enough!
Blessings, Pastor Matt