Summary: On this Friend Day at Wildwind, Dave makes the case that a local church is kind of like soil. As the health of a plant is determined in large part by the soil in which it is planted, so the health of a Christ-follower (or God-seeker) is determined by the
Sept. 10, 2006
Wildwind Community Church
I want to begin by welcoming all our guests this morning. At 10:30 on a Sunday morning, especially as summer wraps up and we look toward fall, there are ten-thousand other things you could be doing at this moment, yet you have chosen to spend this time here with us and we are glad to have you. I want to reiterate what we have already made clear, which is that we want you to be able to relax today. Wildwind started with a team of about 30 people four years ago, so with the exception of those 30 people, every one of us here today has had the experience of setting the alarm and getting up to come to a place on Sunday where you may not know that many people and where, frankly, you might be a little nervous or uncomfortable. Almost all of us have been there, and we want to make today as easy on you as possible! So please know that today, as with every week here at Wildwind, our guests are a priority for us.
You know every Sunday we have people here from all walks of life. We have people who became Christ-followers when they were four and five years old. We have people who have decided in recent months and years to make that commitment and are in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. We have people who still have not made that commitment but continue to come weekly because they have questions and this is an important part of their spiritual journey. And then I suppose we probably have a few people who come occasionally because they feel guilty if they don’t come, although guilt isn’t really the business we are in. Maybe some people even come because it’s a habit. The point is that people are in all different places, and that’s the way it should be. We’re not all the same age. We’re not all the same gender (although I admit that there’s a bit less variety in that category). We’re not the same height or weight or shoe size or hair color. And we are all in different places spiritually. That is just as it should be, and there’s no reason that anybody should ever come into a church and feel guilty because they’re not farther along than they are. So this morning I don’t care what past you come from. I don’t care what hang-ups you brought in here with you. I don’t care that your life isn’t as perfect as you’d like it to be. I don’t care what you’re wearing or what kind of music you like or what kinds of liquids you keep in your refrigerator. I don’t care if you’re introverted or extraverted, if you have a cushy office job or sweat every minute of every day to earn a living. I don’t care if you are known for your flowery speech or for cussing like a sailor. I don’t care if you could hardly wait to get here, or if you came only because a friend invited you and you wouldn’t have come for any other reason. I mean, I care on the level that these may be concerns of yours at this time, but none of those things should be a barrier for you in sitting back and being open to the possibility this morning that perhaps God might have something to say to you. What I really care most about this morning is that every one of us, guest, old-timer, whatever – can just be a little open to the possibility that we are more than our stock market value, more than our bank account, more than what we own, even more than the legacy we are leaving to our children – that we are eternal souls created on purpose by a God who loves us, wants to know us, and has a plan for our lives and desires that we live in relationship to Him.
We believe that is true, and that nothing should keep us from pursuing that truth as far as it leads. So the real question at this moment is what about now? I have a few moments to speak to you today and I thought long and hard about what I would say. I mean, let’s face it. For some of you, this is my one shot! You may not come back after this week. Hmm…what do I do with this? Do I “nail you” while I’ve got a captive audience, with the fire and brimstone stuff? I guess I could. Heaven knows my heart’s desire is to see every person in this room living in daily relationship to God, having given their life to Christ and decided to ditch their own agendas for their lives and embrace God’s agenda.