Summary: Series looking at our role in witnessing.
Witnessing to your World
Gladstone Baptist Church – 17/4/05
One of my favourite subjects at school was physics. I know that most of you are just groaning inwardly now because you can’t think of anything worse. And I know that all the theory and the equations and the mathematics was pretty bad, but I used to love to have fun with the experiments and used to love finding out how things worked. Right from a kid I used to wonder how things worked and why things behaved as they did. Why is it So? Did you ever wonder how things worked? Here are some of my favourite memories about physics …
What about breaking light apart into it’s colour spectrum
What about all those fun mirrors and lenses you got to play with. Distorting things and reversing images.
Things like the static generator … How much fun was that.
Well tonight I want to give you a bit of a physics class. I want to tell you that physics is related to mission. It can actually help us explain what God wants us to do in our witness to the world.
You see, I learnt in physics that there are 2 different and in fact opposite forces that exist which I want to demonstrate to you right now …
If I take this ball on a string and swing it around and around – the ball goes from hanging down vertically to going around my hand in a horizontal plane. If I were to let this ball go what would happen? It would fly off some direction because it has some velocity. What is keeping the ball going around and around? It is the string and more importantly a force that I am applying to the string. It is a force that is pulling the ball back towards the centre. It’s like this ride. Without the cables pulling the planes back into the centre, they’d all fly away. This force is called a centripetal force – meaning a force that pulls towards the centre. Here’s another example of a centripetal force - What happens if I toss this ball up? It will fall back down - right. There is a force applied to that ball which we call gravity. It is actually a kind of centripetal force. The force pulls the ball to the centre of the earth or as close as it can get before it hits something…
The opposite force to centripetal forces are centrifugal forces.
Has anyone ever been on one of these old merry-go-rounds. And really got it spinning fast? Apart from feeling really dizzy and a bit sick, what force do you feel?? It’s a force outwards. You feel like there is something just pulling you away from the centre of the merry-go-round. That’s called a centrifugal force.
See isn’t physics fun? Centripetal forces pull things into the centre. Centrifugal forces push things away. Remember it this way. Centripetal forces Pull things to the centre. Centrifugal forces make things flee from the centre.
But how does this relate at all to missions????
Well God has asked us to be both CENTRIPETAL AND CENTRIFUGAL in our mission activity. But we need to be more centrifugal than centripetal. Did you know that?
Most of you are wondering what type of drugs I’m on aren’t you. But I’m completely sober. What I mean by this is this… We are meant to be involved in centripetal activity – activity that ATTRACTS PEOPLE to us here and now. To where we are right now. Centripetal mission would be waiting for people to notice us and come along to church or a homegroup or to our church related activities. This sounds all nice doesn’t it, but it doesn’t work very well in practice as I’ll explain soon.
But just as we are called to invite people to be a part of God’s church body – That’s centripetal activity, God also wants us to be involved in Centrifugal mission activity. 2B Centrifugal mission activity would be GOING OUT FROM where you are now to where people are. It is fleeing from our nice holy huddle in this church building and going to where the fish are biting. When you decide to go fishing, you don’t expect the fish to come to you in your lounge room so that you can still enjoy the comforts of your couch. No you can’t stay on your couch and expect to catch fish. If you want to catch fish, you need to be prepared to get up from your comfy couch and get out in the boat or walk down a river bank to where you know fish are present – but not just any old fish – hungry fish!!!! - Right. That is centrifugal activity. Going out from where you are to where the fish are. Not expecting them to come into you, but going out to them instead.