Summary: This sermon declares that being in ministry can be just as exciting as going on a family trip and just as children ask the question in the sermon’s theme, the church should continue to ask it as well.

Are we there yet? (Matthew 25:34-46)

Our theme for today’s message can help many of us reflect back to our youth when we were with our parents, grandparents, other relatives or guardians. I’m referring to occasions when we were going on some type of family outing.

It could have been a trip to the beach, an amusement park or even to a relative who lived outside of the general vacinity where we resided. With great anticipation we would often ask the question, “Are

we there yet?”

Oftentimes we would not have even traveled but a short distance before we started asking the question. Our parents, grandparents, or other relatives and guardians usually helped reassure us that they would let us know when we were there.

How many of us are just as excited about ministry? How many of us are still asking our parents, grandparents, other relatives or guardians the question, “Are we there yet?”

For some of us, we are no longer asking the question but the tables have turned on us now and we are being asked the same question that we posed to our parents, grandparents, other relatives or guardians. See, if we only keep living we will begin to understand all that our parents, grandparents or other relatives and guardians had to deal with as they served as nurturers and guides for us during the early years of our lives.

Again, with a frame of reference for today’s message I am still wondering how many of us are posing that classical question that many of us posed as children and youth.

Just as we eagerly anticipated arriving to our destinations with family and friends we should likewise eagerly anticipate reaching destinations that God has planned for God’s people in this life. The key thing is to be able to plan for the trip, become excited about it and remain excited and enjoy one’s self while we are on our way.

If you reflect back on those outings with family and friends whether they were local or distant, you had a lovely time even in getting to your destination. Half of the memories were centered around the ride in the vehicle, bus, train, ship or airplane. Being in ministry together and with others can be just as fulfilling as going on an outing with family and friends.

The trip has already been planned for this church. All we have to do is adequately pack the necessary items, make sure we have transportation and take off. The trip that I am referring to is outlined in our scriptural passage for today.

What we do with the plans that have been outlined for us from the gospel’s mandate will indeed determine our final destiny as people of faith.

Notice in this passage that there is an image wherein persons will be held accountable for stewardship in this life. There is a major challenge for people of faith given here that’s often overlooked and if not overlooked just simply not worked at.

As you look at the passage I want you to see if you can answer that question that I have posed in the form of today’s message theme, “Are we there yet?” If our answer is no, then what can we do to start planning to get to where God would require God’s

people to be?

If our answer is yes, then we must assess whether or not in beginning the planning stages for carrying out these mandates we are approaching them with the right attitude because if we are not, then what we do will be in vain.

Many of you have noticed that there were some television advertisements within the past few months where the United Methodist Church was being highlighted. The campaign’s slogan was “Igniting Ministry” with a theme of “Open Hearts, Open Minds,

Open Doors.” If you saw those television advertisements you may have even said to yourself that they don’t appear too appealing.

If you said that then the campaign has served its purpose because the ads were designed to target the unchurched and you are churched. The campaigns will continue to run in the future and we as United Methodist must prepare ourselves.

The impetus behind these television spots was to highlight the denomination that’s known as United Methodist and to stimulate one’s thoughts about

possibly attending a United Methodist congregation.

In line with our theme for today’s message, I ask the same question to us who may get the opportunity to receive visitors in this community of faith as a result of seeing the television ads.

Are we at a place in this worshipping community where if someone where to come into this church they could say that New Life UMC epitomizes the

church’s slogan where ministry is taken place in an invigorating manner and the members of that community of faith do indeed personify the television advertisement campaigns that have been aired in the past few months and will continue to be run for the next few years.

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