Summary: Something is missing from the church today, and people are starting to notice. Too often the church fails to offer what it advertises: life.
5. Vision Week 1
February 7, 2010
Something is Happening
Have you ever been looking for something but just couldn’t find it? I remember hearing this story about a couple who had been fighting over the purchase of a new car for weeks. The husband wanted a new truck. The wife wanted a fast sports car. Back and forth they argued over and over again but neither one of them would budge. Finally the wife frustrated by her husband’s refusal to compromise pulled out one of her best weapons and she said: "Look, I want something that goes from 0 to 140 in four seconds or less, and that’s all there is to it! My birthday is coming up and you’d better surprise me, or it’s gonna get mighty lonely for you around here, if you get my drift!" Well that ended the conversation. A few weeks later her birthday arrived. The wife woke up fully expecting her husband to have given in to her demand. So she got up and rushed out to the garage, but there was no new car. She opened the garage door and the driveway was empty. Now she was steamed. She had made her position very clear and her husband hadn’t done what he was supposed to. She looked and looked but could not find her husband anywhere. Frustrated and upset, she went into the bathroom to get dressed, and there, sitting on the floor and wrapped in a big red ribbon, was her birthday present. Clearly this was not a new car but perhaps he had been more creative in the delivery. On the outside of the box was written a note from her husband. It said “you asked me for something that goes from 0 to 140 in 4 seconds or less so here it is, happy birthday. She opened the box and found a brand new scale. Two lessons we should learn from this: 1. If you are looking for something it is a good idea to be specific as to what and 2. If you want to pick a fight this is a good way to do it. Guys, please do not do this to your wives.
Like this woman we are all looking for something. In fact that is the reason we are here today. Some of you may not know what that something is and some of you think you know what that something is but you might be wrong. We are here because we are searching for something. We realize that there has to be more to life than just this. We all want something in our lives. We want something to give us meaning, to give us hope, to give us purpose. Perhaps most importantly we are looking for something to change. During the last presidential election all politics aside President Obama’s campaign was brilliant. He campaigned on a world: change. Change we can believe in see we all have things in our lives that we would like to change. So on different levels we all want change. But the change a President can offer is not the something we are looking for. Something is happening that can change things but a political campaign doesn’t have it.
Something is happening that will change how we relate with God. Sometimes our relationship with God is like a one night stand. We show up on Sunday morning get that connection and then leave. When that is the major extent of our connection to God we have lost something. I have been a Christian for my entire life. I grew up in a Christian home and was raised by Christian parents. I was in a leader in the youth group in High School and went to a Christian college. For over three years I have been here pasturing a church trying to do something for God. When I first started here I felt that God had something big planned for this church but I didn’t know what it was. What I knew was that something was holding us back. There was something that was preventing us from growing to do what God had planned. So over the years we tried all these different ideas, and strategies and plans. Over the years we tried one program after another but every time I was discouraged because something was still missing.
Not that long ago I starting thinking and really just evaluated my life and a realized that something was missing there too. I had developed some bad habits. My entire day would revolve around reading and studying the word of God and as I result the Bible became my job. I thought that was ok. What is wrong with being a professional Christian? What I have come to realize is that I was doing things all wrong. So for the last few months we have been talking about something in our leadership meetings and trying to figure out how to get something in our lives. You see I lived my life going through the motions. I pray when you are supposed to pray, I read the Bible and study it all the time, I quote it, use it, preach it but still I felt like something was missing. In doing all the things I was supposed to do I felt drained. I knew something was missing but I didn’t know what it was. In making myself a professional Christian I had become an amateur child of God. I know that some of you know exactly what I mean because you are feeling it to. Sometimes we spend all our time and energy going through the religious motions and we forget who we really are. It is easy to pretend to be a Christian, it’s too easy to fake it. But God knows the truth we sometimes hide from ourselves.