Injuries were hard on two of my favorite teams last year. Clemson lost Mike Williams, their top-ranked wide receiver, in the first game of the year. The Carolina Panthers lost Kelvin Benjamin, their top-ranked wide receiver, in the preseason. While both teams had successful seasons, they came up just short in their respective championship games. If only…
Injuries are one of the landmines of football. The church has to deal with landmines, too. I don’t mean injuries, (although we do often have to put active members on the DL while they recover from surgeries or life changes), but there are other obstacles that threaten the peace, unity, and purity of the church.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing some thoughts titled “Reflections after a Year at Westminster,” or less formally, “Here’s what I’ve been thinking lately.” Along the way, I’ve tried to convey my enthusiasm about being your pastor and the growth we’re experiencing together. This week, I’ll address potential landmines we may face.
Historically, the most dangerous landmine the church faces is losing focus because of unhealthy internal conflict. God has called us to steadfastly focus on Jesus and the calling he’s placed on our lives at this particular place in this particular time, but there are times we will be tempted to take our eyes off him and the things that matter the most to him. I recently visited a church that was fighting- they could not agree on what God’s will was for them on a particular issue, and after several years of debates, arguments, and hurt feelings, they still had not reached any resolution. In the meantime, their witness in the community was compromised, and they had no energy or enthusiasm for ministry because all their meetings were about their divisions. They had stepped on a landmine.
The best way I know to avoid those landmines is by drawing near to Jesus and caring about the things he cares about. When we are at the center, bound to him, many of those divisions will fade away as we put on the mind of Christ and are willing to bear with one another in love- even when we disagree. At Westminster, I’m going to push you to keep focused and care about the things that really matter.
Next week, I’ll share about the role of prayer in all of “our” plans for the future. Stay tuned!
Yours in Christ,