It’s amazing what the Lord has let us learn. E.J. Edmiston
BSE attends a worship service called Ignite and the church’s website describes it this way:
Our vision is for the presence of God to ignite a movement of worship in us so infectious that it brings others with us into His presence. Responding in public worship is often where change begins; the change of a deepening personal relationship with God. Our weekly gatherings spark new spiritual relationships while refueling ones already established.
I was thinking about Church Names and Worship Service Names and even Financial Grant Names that we come up with today in hopes of energizing The Church. Aspirational names I’ve come across lately include:
- Renovation – Where we get cleaned up and rewired? Yes please.
- Blaze – “This girl is on fire.” And eventually we all are.
- Amplify – Loud and getting louder.
- Power Surge – “It’s not a church. It’s a movement.“
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California announced this week that they had “achieved ignition” and I don’t know what that means but The Wall Street Journal is wary and The New York Times is pumped.
According to Nature, humans have created “a nuclear reaction that generates more energy than it consumes” which means that it’s possible that we could one day have “endless energy.” Goodbye fossil fuels forever. Hello healthier planet.
As I meet with people who love Jesus and serve the Church, I occasionally hear words like “ignite” but I more often hear words like “depleted” or “done.” Yes. Many of us are.
And yet in the year of our Lord 2022 and on the cusp of 2023, something amazing has happened in the creation God made that generates more energy than it consumes. Imagine this happening in The Church.
- Imagine that we experience more energy after the Middle School Retreat than we expended to create it.
- Imagine there is a surge of power after the Session Meeting instead of utter depletion.
- Imagine that we begin the new year feeling ignited rather than stone cold.
I don’t know how nuclear fusion works and I don’t know how spiritual ignition works, but the same God makes each possible. Even with my active cheerleader gene, I can’t make people excited about what God has done, is doing, can do. But we can be like the Livermore scientists by . . .
- Imagining what’s possible.
- Being patient (It’s still going to take at least a decade to tap this energy for everyone.)
- Telling everybody what we’ve already seen/learned/realized.
Enlivening our congregations has nothing to do with the names of our churches, our ministries, our worship services or our pastors. (Remind me to tell you the story about the pastor who changed his name to “Randy” the same Sunday his church changed their name to “Journey” because “they both sounded cooler.” The church still closed a couple years later.)
We can even call ourselves St. Luke’s Lutheran or First Presbyterian or Our Lady of the Lake and be “ignited” if we are authentic and genuinely humble regarding God’s love. Life is about who God is. We just need to pay attention and marvel and respond.
“We can even call ourselves St. Luke’s Lutheran or First Presbyterian or Our Lady of the Lake and be “ignited” if we are authentic and genuinely humble regarding God’s love. Life is about who God is. We just need to pay attention and marvel and respond.” I’m completely agree with you. This is the heart of our call. Thank you for saying it again, and again.
LikeLiked by 2 people