Monday, June 28, 2004

Sermons are a Joke

I’m looking for an image. Give me one good, potent image.

Futurist Len Sweet has a favorite image of “the swing.” This swing image embodies Sweet’s feelings about life in a community of faith: in the motion of swinging we lean back and stretch forward. The swing image communicates reliance on our past and stretching into our future. I like that image! It is very good. It is the kind of evocative image I am looking for.

But . . . swings don’t go anywhere. I believe the gospel IS going somewhere and that it unveils the Kingdom of God among us.

So, I’m looking for a Singing Oaks image. Do you have any ideas for an image that captures our mission statement? Our mission is to bring people to Jesus Christ. This calls us to 1) share our faith with others, 2) be devoted to prayer and Bible study, 3) glorify God in our assemblies and 4) live so that others see Jesus living in us.

Yesterday’s joke of a sermon caught some of that meaning. The gospel is similar to a joke. Jokes are meant to be shared. Joke tellers don’t take themselves too seriously and they laugh at life. Some people get the joke and some do not get it. Jesus described his stories (parables) as jokes or riddles that people hear, but don’t understand and see but don’t comprehend.

In our 3rd millennium culture, we need to communicate with powerful images. Do you have an vibrant image that captures and communicates our church’s mission?

Like I said, some people “get this” idea and some do not get it. That is ok. This is a more left-brained activity, but it is worth your thought. I will close by sharing my failed attempt at an image. Last year, I imagined an icon that was a tree with a “P” as its trunk and roots. And Karen Lawson gave it great life -- many people commented on the great graphics. In my mind, the “P” communicates the three aspects of our mission to the world Pursue God, Present lives of Christian service and Proclaim the good news to others. This image did not to capture the imagination. I know one of you can do better than I did at imagining a picture of our congregation.

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