You get up in the morning and turn on your computer, iPad, or television. The waves of hurt and pain roll in — wars, famine, political polarization, racism, abuse, and people just struggling to make it through the day.
- We live in a world that is desperate for good. People long to have ripples of good wash over their neighborhoods, cities, and world.
- Every neighborhood should be able to look at their church(es) and see ripples of good flowing from it into the community, city, and world.
The call to follow Jesus in sending ripples of good into the world is deeply rooted in Scripture (Acts 10:37-38, Galatians 6:9-10, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:14).
- As church leaders, we are called to help God’s family be spiritually formed in order that they might do good. How are you equipping your congregation to send ripples of good out into a world thirsty for God?
Questions that prepare us to create ripples of good.
Question 1: How is our congregation discerning God’s ripples of good?
- Can your congregation name the gifts, skills, and passions God has given you that you can use in serving your neighborhood, city, and world? No church can do it all, so seeing what God has given you helps to focus the ripples you send out.
Question 2: What Scripture passages guide us in spreading good into the world?
- Churches often have favorite passages of Scripture that define them. One congregation I know uses 1 Thessalonians 4:11. What passages describe your congregation?
Question 3: Who are we partnering with to send ripples of good into the world?
- Your church is not to be a Lone Ranger in this work or create all things yourself. What groups can you partner with in your community, from parade planners to food pantries?
Question 4: How high is our desire to step outside our four walls?
- At times, we see the church as a fortress, a place that can protect us from the world. Is your congregation stepping out of the fortress mentality and into the neighborhood?
Question 5: Are we willing to sustain losses to send ripples of good into the world?
- We can lose some things when we attempt to care for and partner with our communities. Perhaps our facilities get extra wear and tear, our normal weekly ministry flow gets messed with, or we have to let go of some other things to serve. What losses is your congregation willing to sustain to send ripples of good?
Question 6: Are we willing to change our preferences and routine behaviors?
- Truly entering our neighborhood, city, and world is about a change of our hearts and minds. We need to see ourselves as a people called not to build a great church but a great neighborhood and city. Is your congregation open to changing their hearts and minds?
Question 7: Will we join God in loving the world?
- So many followers of Jesus seem to be angry at the world or, at best, tolerating it. Sending ripples of good into the world calls on us to join God in loving the world. Does your congregation “so love the world” or is it just angry with “those people?”
We live in a world desperate for ripples of good. How can your congregation follow Jesus, sending waves of good into the world?