I’m sitting in a Panera Bread outside of St. Louis, MO as I wait for Kristyn to finish taking a test. As I sit here and see so many different people coming and going I found myself reliving a conversation I had with Matthew Paul Turner last weekend. Matthew was commenting on how he liked where Centerpoint was headed but also reminded me that love must always remain at the center of what we do. This statement is clearly backed up in Matthew 22:37-40 when Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to a)love God and b) love people.
Matthew’s advice got me to thinking about Centerpoints purpose statement. The first part of our purpose statement (Uniquely Different) has to do with the way we approach or “do church” but the second, most important part of our purpose statement (Passionately Real) relates to the way we engage and disciple people. Essentially, the first part = the method and the second part = the message. At the center Jesus message was love and in-turn it should be His followers focus as well. Instead, we often seem to focus on the methods without paying enough attention to the message we are actually communicating.
A lot of the people I have seen in Panera today likely don’t attend church. Some might think that’s a pretty bold assumption on my part, but I’m just going with stats and if those stats are true then I’m actually stating more of a a fact than I am making an assumption. I can’t help but wonder if these stats might be different if those of us who claim to be followers of Christ, including myself, would truly make love the focus of our message? I have hope that we will one day find out what the result might be and I for one will to do my best to lead by example.