Today, I want to share with you a new series I’ll be starting on Vine beginning in September. It’s a project I’ve been dreaming about for awhile and finally decided it was time to pull the trigger. You can see the announcement tweet below.
There are markers for a healthy church that I think are important for church leaders to identify. Events like baptisms is one important metric to track. It allows us to answer the question, “Are people regularly saying, ‘Yes’ to Jesus when they join our company?” If not, I think it’s pretty easy to identify that the church is probably unhealthy. If you’re not signing people up to be a part of the Kingdom (what baptism symbolizes), then you’re not a church (though you might very well be something else).
Today’s text is from Matthew 25. Note: This is an adaptation of a sermon given at Garden Park Church.
When I graduated seminary, Elise and I took a weekend trip up in the Yosemite area of the California mountains. I found us a nice bed a breakfast and our weekend was gloriously filled with nothing. While that sounds boring, as people accustomed to always doing something, we were thrilled with forty-eight hours of nothingness. We splurged ate ate out, we watched cable television in our room, and we spent hours in the hot tub watching the sunset. Kaiaini was with her grandma and we had the chance to unwind after three crazy years of ministry and graduate school.
On our way home, we passed a casino that we remembered seeing on the way up and a gradual conversation emerged about how neither one of us had ever gambled before. We had been in a casino a few times before, Elise’s grandparents lived near one and frequented the diner located inside, but we had never actually spent anytime in the casino gambling. We decided it would be worth the time to stop and go check out the casino, it is a famous one in California and we didn’t drive by it too often so it would be a fitting conclusion to our trip. We stepped inside and immediately experienced a cacophony of noise, lights, and smells. Truth be told, we were almost overwhelmed.