One of my friend’s loves to set goals. One of the only things he loves more than setting goals is achieving them. I used to roll my eyes at this, because to my emotionally driven, mostly scattered brain, goals just get in the way of my fun. And where the heck does God fit in goals? Does God set goals? Did he decide that he would create the world in 6 days? Did he finish ahead of time and that’s why we’ve got the whole Sabbath deal?
Anyway. I’m here to concede, yet again, that I was wrong. Perhaps that’s the theme of this week – things I was wrong about. Wrong week. That works for me.
The nature of ministry today is different to the way ministry was in the first churches, but the purpose remains the same. The purpose remains that we are called to – no, created to – declare the glory of God. The Heavens do it, and so do the church! That’s right, we have the same job description as the stars. That’s pretty cool. It doesn’t mean, though, that we grab a lamp and shine it from the church window, then claim that we’re shining God’s light on the world.
We need to know HOW we’re doing it. That’s the bit that changes. The mission never does, but the method does.
Let’s look at an example. The church is told to look after orphans and widows. The early church did so by looking after those within their communities. It was a natural thing. As time went on, churches became central to the welfare of those without anyone else to take care of them and it was simply something that just… happened.
Today’s church lives within what seems to be a completely different universe. Goals are often needed. We need to be intentional about reaching those in need because the church might just be the last place they go for help. By setting a goal of looking after those in need within our cities, we then work out how to do it. There are some amazing ministries in the city that take teams and help to feed the homeless. They take food, they take blankets. But none of this would happen if they we’re intentional.
Part of me thinks goals are only necessary because we’ve stopped naturally being the church, but I’m probably wrong about that too.
Goals make us intentional about how and why we do things. They give us a way to glorify God. They give us method to reach the madness of this world.
There you have it. I said it.
Goals are good.