“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do……..”
I Chronicles 12:32a
With the busy travel schedule I keep, I find myself often alternating between many different time zones. This can be quite confusing – on a trip out west last year, we flew from Nashville (Central Time Zone) to Atlanta (Eastern), then on to Arizona (Mountain). To make this even more interesting, when you travel to Arizona you have to keep in mind that they do not observe daylight savings time – unless you are staying in the Navajo nation community in the northern part of the state, which does. Whew!
Early on in my travels, I adopted a principle that I still observe to this day: Wherever I may travel to, I never change the settings on my watch. For one thing, it’s very easy to forget whether I changed it or not, and then it’s even harder to remember to change it back when I arrive home.
No, I always keep my watch set to Central time, which is Nashville time.
First of all, that’s where HEADQUARTERS is – my office and base of operations. Secondly, that’s where HOME is – where my wife will be waiting for me with the lights on and the door open when I get back from my travels.
You see, no matter how far the distance I journey or how long I stay gone, all those other destinations are only temporary.
Eventually, I will always head home.
You may be wondering at this point what this all has to do with Church growth and revitalization. My point is this: We are laboring in these last days to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dieing world and build HIS Church until He comes back.
In order to do this successfully, we strive to find ways to make the Gospel message relevant in the midst of an increasingly Godless and even pagan culture around us. To increase the attendance in our churches, the temptation is great to resort to gimmicks, gadgets, and fads, trying to keep up with the “happening church” with all the “bells and whistles” down the road.
Please don’t misunderstand me – I believe that we need to constantly strive to find fresh, new, innovative and creative ways to share Jesus with our community. But while we are doing this, let us never compromise or water down the message that we are delivering.
Here’s the reality: The Gospel of Jesus Christ, delivered humbly and graciously from a Pastor and church with a servants heart, will ALWAYS be relevant. The message will never go out of style. But while methods may change and many of us will “do church” differently, the message should never change.
In 2016, let’s resolve to reach more people with the good news of Jesus than ever before. Let’s strive to do that with excellence, organization, and innovation. But let’s not get so caught up in the world we live in that we forget that this is not our final destination. Heaven is our headquarters, and praise God, heaven will soon be home.
While we labor with love through this journey, let’s keep the clock of our spiritual convictions set on “home time”.