After a meeting with the Bible study teachers and small group leaders of our church, a friend was telling me about how he appreciated the meeting. We’d been going over the annual sermon plan. Then he asked me the question that has prompted this post.
“Mike,” he said, “I know you have a plan in all of this. I know you want to go somewhere, but what is your goal? What do you see happening? What is it that you want?”
That’s a dangerous question. I want a lot of things like most of you, though I’ve learned to temper my wants with reality.
But what if I didn’t temper my wants? What if—just the opposite—I allowed my wants to be placed under the lordship of Christ to be purified in the fire of His presence (the old word is “sanctified”)? What would I want for me and for Brentwood Baptist Church?
Here is what I want:
I want Brentwood Baptist Church to become Beth-El. Do you remember the story of Jacob? Jacob, on the run from Esau, falls asleep and has a dream about angels ascending and descending on a ladder between heaven and earth. Jacob called that place Beth-El—the meeting of heaven and earth. I want people going out into the world to find the lost, minister to the sick, bind up the wounded—and, yes, preach the good news of Jesus Christ.
I want our members coming back for worship. I want our members bringing their testimonies of God’s faithfulness to them in their ministry in the world. I want the lost, the wounded, and the broken coming back with our members to hear the gospel, to be discipled in the ways of Jesus, to discover their gifts, and to be empowered to engage the world for the kingdom.
I want people coming to worship, excited to share how they have seen God work. I want to see people released from worship to serve the world—people who are growing moment by moment in their understanding of who Jesus is and what Christ desires in our world.
I want people, by the millions, coming to know Christ and to be empowered to live in the freedom of His kingdom. This is what I want—to be there when God strikes the spark that kindles the fire that revives our nation and world.
Yeah, I know. That’s a lot, but that is what I want.