About a year ago during his bid to unseat Barack Obama as President of the USA, former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, said this.
How do you feel about what he said?
What I came to learn as I was researching this post, is that Romney was actually quoting Abraham Lincoln. It was a phrase that Lincoln used more than once, for example here, on the eve of issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Yesterday Brandon Hershey spoke at Faith Church. Brandon, at the end of the year, finishes his second three-year term as Faith Church’s Ministry Council chairperson. After two terms our by-laws state that a person must take a break from serving in that capacity, so Brandon’s tenure will be complete. I asked him to preach, to reflect on his time in leadership, and what the Lord might want to say through him.
In the sermon, Brandon quotes Bill Hybels who says “The local church is the hope of the world.” As it ministers the love of Christ to a broken world, the local church, not America, truly is the hope of the world. No doubt a nation can be a force for good in the world, and America certainly has been that time and time again. But if you are looking for true, lasting hope, it can only be found in Jesus. And that is what we, as a church, have to offer.
Brandon then pointed us to a foundational teaching of Scripture, about how the local church must handle itself in order to be the hope of the world. Offering this hope is only possible when we, the local church, work together as we ought. He said that we all have a role to play, and what we do matters. Do you believe that? Do you believe you have a vital role to play, that you have been gifted as part of the local church, or to use the metaphor that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, the body of Christ? Do you need to discover your giftedness? Do you need to step out of your comfort zone and serve in a new way? What part of the body are you? Are you using your gifts? Do you need to develop them more fully?
You are vital to the local church being the hope of the world!