Book Club Channel
Read an Excerpt from "Godspeed"
Also, it doesn't take a math professor to realize all those people "out there" won't fit inside of our church buildings. The Christian concept that we just have to get the world into our buildings is not only incorrect theologically; it doesn't work practically!
We're trying to get the community into church when what we need is to get Jesus into the community. When the church does incarnational Christianity instead of religion, mission becomes more practical.
THE SACRED AND THE SOCCER GAMES
From God's perspective, there's no divide between the sacred and the secular. The incarnation makes this abundantly clear, because when Jesus was born, the sacred invaded the secular—not to destroy it, but to save it, restore it, and renew it.
John Corrie, in the Dictionary of Mission Theology, said,
In the Incarnation of the eternal Word all false dualisms between the material and the spiritual, visible and invisible, human and divine, temporal
and eternal, this-worldly and other-worldly, finite and infinite, were dissolved in the totally integrated person of Christ.
Jesus was both fully secular and fully sacred, fully man and fully God. This confronts the unbiblical division we make in our lives when we separate the daily from the divine. We know God cares about the "churchy" stuff, and we think He cares about our problems, but that's where many Christians leave Jesus' involvement.
The truth is, God cares as much about our kids' soccer games as He cares about our churches' Sunday gatherings. Does He not care when the sparrow falls from its nest? And the sparrow never even went to church!
God cares about the details. Every detail. And if we truly grasp this fact, it will change the way we live. Life becomes more fun. I've lived both ways to varying degrees: including Jesus in normal life and excluding Him from it as most Americans do. I can hereby testify that life is just more fun with Jesus involved!
I've been trying to lay hold of this concept in my day-to-day life. Recently I went to the park with my dad and two kids, Isaiah and Daisy. We went to the park to fly a little radio-controlled airplane Isaiah got for his birthday. As I sat in the grass watching my family, I let it sink in that God cared as much about that moment as He cares about my moments teaching from the pulpit.
I'll tell you, it made my time in the park that much more amazing. I found myself deeply enjoying the moment, glorifying Jesus, and praying blessings over my family.
As we flew the toy airplane, my dad raced it past a stand of trees, and the thing nearly got stuck in one of them—it's never a good scene when Grandpa loses the birthday present!
Each time the plane launched straight for the treetops, my dad and I called out, "Oh Lord, please no! Jesus, please no!" A little dramatic maybe, but sincere.
And I'm telling you, each time the plane boomeranged around with a swoosh-plop moving away from the trees!
Call me crazy, and some surely do, but the Bible shows us that God cares about these little moments. Jesus, Immanuel, is with us in each of them.
If we grasp that fact, it will change our lives.
It will change family life, community life, and mission.
NOT EVERY FLIGHT
Now I'm going to take some of the pressure off.
Realizing God cares about all the little moments in life can be overwhelming if we start to manufacture mission. If we think that every time we go to our kid's soccer game we need to feed a hungry person on the sidelines or preach to an unrepentant parent in the stands, the idea of mission will feel overwhelming, even debilitating.
Britt Merrick is the founding pastor of Reality, a network of churches with locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ventura, Stockton, Santa Barbara, and London, England. He is the author of Big God and blogs at www.brittmerrick.com. Britt lives and surfs with his wife, Kate, and their two children in Carpinteria, CA.