Share the joy
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Do you ever get tired of hearing how wonderful someone thinks you are? That’s a hard one to deny. We like it when the good stuff is repeated. And we may not like it as much, but we need to have the important things repeated so that they will stick in our head.

I woke up this morning thinking about the things that matter. Not because they were already in my head, but because I know that I need the repetition.

It’s important.

The reason I find it important is because I know I can be distracted rather easily. Because this is true, my mind needs some help focusing. So I try to wear a groove into my thinking by repeating the things that matter. Like these:
  • “Your kids are growing up. Be the best Dad you can be while you still have time.”
  • “Your walk with God is the most important thing you do to be who you are. Don’t neglect it.”
  • “You are the only person in the world who can be your wife’s husband. Attend to that responsibility daily.”

These are just a few of the things that I try so hard to keep in my head.

When I was a little boy, I visited my father’s parents in Savannah, Tennessee for Easter rather frequently. One year, the pastor talked about sin, forgiveness and redemption, as you might imagine. I remember this distinctly because the next year, his sermon was very similar — almost the same.

I asked my grandmother, “Why is he preaching this again?”

She answered, “If we ever get it right, I imagine he’ll stop preaching it.”

We have some things at Trinity that you will hear again and again — things that are so important, so vital that you and I need to hear them constantly and our visitors need to know them immediately.

“You are a child of God, a person of worth.” There is no more profound truth in a world that relentlessly tells each human being that they are less-than. In sin, we are lost. In grace, we are forgiven and matchless in our esteem because the Creator God of the universe said so.

“We’re here to make disciples of Jesus Christ, period.”This is who we are and what we do. We need to hear this so we remember to do this. We need to say this so people don’t come back to Trinity just because we are such a cool bunch of folks to hang with. According to Matthew 22:36-40, a disciple

  • worships regularly
  • helps make new disciples
  • is engaged in growing in their faith
  • is engaged in mission
  • shares by giving in mission

Every Sunday, I let our congregation know that visitors aren’t obligated to give. I remind them that visitors who have tithe agreements with their church need to take their money home to their congregation. I remind Trinity members of the joys of forming a tithe agreement with God. And I make it clear that the offertory is an opportunity to exercise stewardship as a function of their discipleship.

Every Sunday, you should be reminded that our worship service has three major goals: To offering healing, to promote personal transformation, and to provide an opportunity to celebrate what God is doing in our lives.

And you should be reminded often that your discipleship requires a certain accountability. You should have at least one good friend (who is also a Christ-follower) who has permission to ask you the hard questions like, “How is your relationship with Jesus going?”

These things matter. They are worth saying again and again. And the more of us there are saying these things, the more chances our community will get to hear them. And that means more opportunities to embrace the transforming, healing grace of Jesus Christ.

Is there an echo in here? I sincerely hope so.

Author: Joey Reed

Joey is married to his best friend. Together, they have two children and live in Jackson, Tennessee. Joey serves Grace United Methodist Church, the Jackson District, the Memphis Annual Conference, and the world is his parish.