Sunday morning, before the sermon – I gave a sermon. To West Franklin. A “Pastor to Members” only sermon. You can watch the pre-sermon sermon here (it begins at about the 20 minute mark. The sermon-sermon starts at around the 28 minute mark).

Here’s what I said. . .

Before we get to the text and the sermon, and we will, I want to take just a moment – as your pastor – and be frank with you. If you are our guest, you are free to check the leaderboard at the Master’s or eavesdrop on this conversation. But I need to take just a moment and speak to those of us who consider ourselves members of The Church at West Franklin.

This is our first Sunday since mid-March 2020 we have not had any COVID-19 protocols at our church. A lot has happened to us and around us over the past 13 months. I may be wrong, but I believe August of this year will begin one of the greatest seasons for us in the life of this church. Most everyone will have had opportunity to get the vaccine. Schools will be starting back. Summer vacations will be winding down. Whatever a post-pandemic normal will look like will, I hope, be happening.

Our mission is to engage the whole person with the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ – anywhere, anytime, with anybody.

Our strategy to accomplish this is to have everyone in a Group, everyone engaging in Gospel Conversations, and everyone Going on mission.

I have two challenges for you:

I want you to decide that you are all in with this.

I want to challenge you all to make the decision that moving forward in a post-protocol, post-COVID-19 world, that you are all in with engaging the whole person with the whole Gospel – anywhere, anytime, with anybody. And you are all in with being in a Group, having Gospel Conversations, and Going on Mission. If we are going to be operating at this capacity come August, I need you to decide now that you are all in.

I want you determined to decide where you fit to make this happen.

In other words, for us to be able to even operate at this capacity, each of us needs to decide where we fit so we can function. Tonight at 6 pm, Josh Lynn (our missions minister) is going to unpack for us ways we can fulfill the Going part of our strategy. Within that is where you are going on our campus. Meaning, where are you contributing here so that we can function at a healthy level?

Do you know that we are still needing to register for NextGen Sunday School classes because we do not have enough volunteers?

Do you know we still are having to pay Childcare Solutions to watch our children on Sunday morning’s?

Do you know we cannot have adequate childcare on Sunday morning’s at 10:30 am because we don’t have enough volunteers?

Do you know that our parking team guys are down to a bare bones rotation due to how many stepped away during COVID? We are wearing these guys out because no one has been able or willing to help?

Do you know that our tech team – on most Sunday’s – has to use a staff member or a staff member’s child – to be able to provide everything necessary to function in the room and provide on-line services?

Do you know that everyone who complains about not having coffee on Sunday morning’s just expects it to appear without considering the time and energy that goes into having it out hot and fresh?

I am calling you, West Franklin, to decide now that you are all in. And, I plead with you to determine today to decide where you fit so that we can function at a high and healthy capacity.

I would love to see us, come August, to be rolling as a church. For that to happen, it will be because of your deciding and your determination today.

 

So far, the response has been fantastic. Thank you, West Franklin. If you weren’t present, or if you were and have had time to process further and are led in a specific direction – go here to let us know how/where the Spirit is directing you.

We haven’t begun to scratch the surface of our potential as a church. It’s coming, though. It’s coming because YOU are responding the Spirit’s leading.