From the Pastor’s Desk – June 2022
Each Sunday of Easter, this year, I have challenged all of you to answer this important question, “So what?” “Jesus Died for me-so what?” “Jesus rose from the grave destroying the power of death-so what?” “We celebrate Jesus’ glorious ascension on Sunday, May 29th (Instead of the traditional Thursday-so what?” “The following Sunday we acknowledge and celebrate the literal birth of Christ’s Church on the day of Pentecost-so what?” These are all transforming events that we seem to shrug off as just another day.
If we are to reach people for Christ, we need people with passion and power. But we also need people with a purpose.
In the late 1800’s, no business matched the financial and political dominance of the railroad. Trains dominated the transportation industry of the United States, moving both people and goods throughout the country.
Then a new discovery came along—the car—and incredibly, the leaders of the railroad industry did not take advantage of their unique position to participate in this transportation development. The automotive revolution was happening all around them, and they did not use their industry dominance to take hold of the opportunity. The railroad barons, like Vanderbilt and Gould did not understand what business they were in. They thought they were in the train business. But they were in fact in the transportation business. Time passed them by, as did opportunity. They couldn’t see what their real purpose was.
If the railroad barons at the turn of the century had understood that they were in the transportation business and not the train business we would all be driving a Gould or a Vanderbilt, and not a Ford.
The same thing happened in the watch and clock industry. The Swiss had dominated time keeping. They controlled 90% of all revenues made in their industry. They made the most precise gears and springs in the world. Their watches and clocks were perfect.
Then something new happened called the Quartz movement—LCD readout. Guess who invented it. A Swiss man. But because it had no gears or knobs or springs it was rejected. They failed to recognize that they were in the business of helping people tell time not making precision gears. They lost their dominance in the industry. They now control 20% of all revenue. The Japanese company, Seiko is the dominant leader.
If Sports Illustrated magazine understood it was in the sports information business, not the publishing business, we would have the Sports Illustrated Channel, not ESPN.
And folks, if we in the UCC, forget that our purpose is making disciples for Jesus Christ we will also become obsolete. If we lose our focus and get distracted by tradition, habit, custom, ritual, routine, we will go the way of the trains, the Swiss, and Sports Illustrated. We must remember our basic identity. We must—whenever, however, wherever—fulfill our basic purpose.
I want to be part of a church whose “soul” purpose is to love God and our neighbor and thus win people to Jesus Christ.
I want to be part of a church that is empowered by the Holy Spirit. A church that is going out into the streets with spiritual power and the authority. The Holy Spirit compels us to go.
As always, I would love your comments. Blessings to you all!