Headlines from First Thoughts

Friday, October 02, 2009

Moving in 65 Directions Simultaneously

Is it possible for a group of people to move in 65 directions at once? First Baptist does it every day, and we're quite good at it. We're organized about it, but we have no plan for it. We know it happens, and this scattering actually makes us who we are.

Before I explain how and why, you might recall that Jesus assumed that the church would act like salt and light. We would go everywhere spilling and sparking ourselves into the dull and dark places of the world. The church, just by virtue of its service in the world, and its need to move out from closeted spaces, simply adds zest and color to God's space.

The First Baptist version of salt and light cranks up the engines, waits at the bus stop, and opens car doors every day to do precisely that. Our church moves simultaneously in over 65 directions each morning just to go to school. Michael McEntyre and Susan Tatum have recently updated their information about the students who attend church here on Sunday morning. What we do on Monday, however, is quite fascinating. With no plan from headquarters, we move out in an organized orderly fashion to over 65 campuses as students and educators. We attend 20 high schools, 20 middle schools, and 25 preschool and elementary schools throughout East Tennessee. We are Smoky Bears and Bulldogs, Rebels (both kinds) and Spartans, Private-, Home-, Public-, and Pre-Schoolers of all stripes.

Educators and students scatter across this corner of the world, and we do one thing. We live the church. And that's exactly how Jesus planned it.

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