Have you ever played “Dot-to-Dot”? Do you remember doing those dot-to-dot games and worksheets when you were younger? When you start one of those sheets, it just looks like a mess, an unorganized mass of dots. But as we move our pencils and draw lines from one number to the next, the picture begins to fill in. In Kindergarten, our puzzles only had a few dots, but the older we got, the more complex they became until there were some advanced puzzle sheets that, with a little patience and care, became beautiful and interesting pictures.
Real life in our church is lot like that.
It’s a conversation that I’ve had with our church staff and with a few others and it’s a conversation that we will likely keep having because, like all humans, we tend to forget.
The reason we need to keep talking about it, is this: Our church, like most other churches, does a lot of great things. We care. We care about people, and we care about things like scripture, and faithfulness, and Jesus, and sharing the gospel. But sometimes, we get so focused on doing all the things that we do, that we forget to “connect the dots.” It’s important to stay focused on the mission of Jesus Christ, to rescue the lost and bring comfort to the poor and the hurting. But while we do that, we need to remember that coming to faith in Christ is a process that doesn’t happen all at once. People don’t hear about Jesus and suddenly <<POOF!>> become mature disciples.
And so, as a church, we find ourselves with all these “dots.” We have a “dot” for evangelism, and a dot for missions, and a dot for Christian Education, and a dot this, and a dot for that, and, if we aren’t careful, it begins to look like a mass of unorganized dots. The goal is to connect the dots, so that we can not only reach out to the lost, but to also guide them along a process that will lead them to faith in Jesus, and then to church attendance, church membership, growing Christian maturity, and eventually to becoming mature disciples of Jesus Christ working toward the transformation of the world.
I encourage us all to think about how we “connect the dots” here at Christ Church.
As we plan worship services, and mission trips, and evangelism, and all sorts of other “dots”, let’s try to remember to pause occasionally to ask ourselves, “What happens next?” What part of the process came before this one, and what part should come next? Let’s think about how we can guide new people and fellow believers alike through the process from unbeliever to mature disciple.
We will need to work together to accomplish our mission and… connect the dots.