Sunday, June 1, 2008

Key Three

Ever since we introduced the Key Three, we've had a bunch of series that have revolved around communicating and reinforcing these ideas, and there are a couple more in the works:

  • Key Three (Fall 2006)
  • McFaith (Fall 2007)
  • God's Gym (Winter 2008)
  • Driven (Summer 2008)
  • Unstoppable (Winter 2009)

In addition to these series, there have been numerous individual weeks where we've talked about the Key Three in detail, like we did this Sunday, relating the Key Three to communion. The Key Three are in our bulletins every week. In fact, the three symbols accompany every component of the bulletin, such as the scripture readings, the announcements, and the small groups.

The Key Three serve as the basis for our four Journey classes:
  • Journey 101: Membership/Introduction to PCC
  • Journey 201: Real Spirituality
  • Journey 301: Real Community
  • Journey 401: Real Story

The Key Three are essential in our church structure. We talk about them in staff meetings, elders meetings, and Church Council meetings. As a church, we don't do anything that does not relate to one of the Key Three, no matter how good it may be, and we run everything through the rubric of the Key Three.

The Key Three is not a program--something we do--it is something we are. This is what we live, breathe, and think every moment of every day.

It is a three-legged stool. You can't remove or truncate any one of them without throwing the entire setup off-balance. And I guess that's why it's so disheartening when we operate outside of the Key Three. Here are some of the ways I see us getting turned around from time to time:

  • Real Spirituality means growing. A real relationship with God means we cannot stay in the same place week after week, month after month, year after year. Salvation = Transformation.
  • Real Spirituality means taking responsibility for your own Christian life. It doesn't matter what church I attend, who the pastor is, what my baggage is. The only one responsible for my journey of faith is me. It's easier to blame the circumstances around me for why I "can't" succeed spiritually, but it lacks honesty.
  • Real Community means having tough, honest conversations. Our church and every other church in America is plagued by chronic illness of pseudo-niceness, a disease that sugar-coats our relationships, greeting one another with smiley-sweet sappiness, while all the time hiding unspoken reservations, concerns, hurts, and needs. Whenever we withhold what is really going on in our lives, we are lying to the body of Christ.
  • Real Community means committed relationships. It's not enough to belong to a church I rarely attend. It's not enough to be on a team I don't contribute much to. It's not enough to be in a small group that I go to when it's convenient. We can "do" all the church things and not get anything out of any of them. All these things are just tools; it's up to each of us to use them properly in our lives, and the proper use is with commitment. If we don't invest ourselves, we won't find any return in our lives.
  • Real Story means words and actions. It's not enough to be attracted to the idea of people coming to Christ. We have to make room in our lives for unchurched people, show the love of Christ to them tangibly, and then verbally communicate that love. If we're not doing that, we aren't living Real Story.

The church is like a popcorn popper. All we can do is create the right environment for the kernels to pop. We make sure there's heat, make sure there's oil, but we can't control the popping process. Some kernels pop sooner, some later; some never pop at all. We can provide the environment that is helpful for spiritual growth, but the "kernels" have to respond to the environment.

You want to know what wears me out as a pastor? It's not working 50+ hours a week at two jobs. It's when I see people reject God's invitation to a fuller life, as they settle for convenience, ease, and mundane mediocrity.

No comments: