An Invitation to Focus

This video is 2 minutes long.  It won’t kill you to watch it.

My denomination is the Presbyterian Church USA and we are trying to be a Matthew 25 Church.  We are asking each congregation and each mid-council to focus on one or more of these core values serving “the least of these”:

  • Building congregational vitality by challenging people and congregations to deepen their faith and get actively and joyfully engaged with their community and the world.
  • Dismantling structural racism by advocating and acting to break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.
  • Eradicating systemic poverty by working to change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.

You might say, “Of course we try to live out Matthew 25.  This is what it means to be church.”  But – honestly – imagine what it would look like if all our deliberations about our mission, our educational programming, and our budgeting was discerned through the lens of Matthew 25.

Presbyterians:  please share the video above.  It’s not enough to say that “the church is not a building.”

We need to realize that Pentecost Has Found Us.  The Spirit of God is upon us to deepen our faith and to break down systems that perpetuate racism and poverty.  God is using the death of George Floyd and others to shift the culture of everybody from Quaker Oats and Mars to Netflix.

It’s time for the Church to take the lead in shifting the global culture so that the earth resembles heaven more than it resembles hell – especially for the ones Jesus called “the least of these.”

Your congregation can officially become a Matthew 25 Church hereThis is not a gimmick.  This is an invitation to focus.

In other words, next time you are in a church meeting talking about flower arrangements and the cemetery fund, please – somebody – ask:

  • How does this decision Build Congregational Vitality?  
  • How does this decision Dismantle Structural Racism?
  • How does this decision Eradicate Poverty.

(Regarding flowers and cemeteries, if there is no building, dismantling, or eradicating,  let’s not let it be our focus.  Get it?)

Be safe out there.  And remember that your church is open – if you are still serving God’s people – even if the doors are locked, even if your worship is still virtual.  If your church is not serving God’s people, you were never truly open.

One response to “An Invitation to Focus

  1. Jan, appreciate the emphasis on “focus” –how are we making a difference for the least of these systemically? on a more personal level, “re-center” with self-care, “re-set” your goals, “refocus” your routine


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