I don’t like to share. It started at an early age with small objects. Like most children I wanted to keep my toys to myself. Sadly, I’ve never outgrown that character flaw. If you ever take me out to my favorite restaurant, 131 Main, I will order my favorite dessert. I’m a big fan of the banana cream pie. If you want a bite I’ll let you have it. If want two bites I’ll approvingly smile as if to say, “It’s good, isn’t it?” If you try to take a third bite I’ll pin your hand to the table with my fork. Sorry, but I don’t like to share. Some things I want to keep to myself. My favorite dessert is one of those things.
We all have things we don’t like to share. A comfortable chair. Our favorite nook at a coffee shop. The warmest blanket in the house on a cold winter day. Some things we just like to keep to ourselves. The church shouldn’t be one of those things.
Recently, we ordered more chairs and I want to encourage you to share with your friends that they’re available. If you know someone who does not have a church home, invite them to Renaissance. Share Renaissance.
Share Ren because God’s word is preached. I have a growing confidence in God’s word. God tells us when his word is preached it’s not wasted. The power is always found in the word, not with the worker that delivers it. In case I haven’t given you enough evidence that’s true, trust me, it’s true. It gives me great joy to know we love the word at Renaissance.
Share Ren because Jesus and the gospel are the center. The Bible is for us, but it’s not about us. The Bible is God’s story. In its pages we see Jesus. The craziest thing happens when we fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith. We experience joy. We take our eyes off ourselves. This is the joy of self-forgetfulness. When we focus our attention on Jesus, we win in the end.
Share Ren because we genuinely care about people. I’ve been here for a long time. I know a lot of our people. Some I know well. I have to tell you, our leaders care about our people. I’m not blowing smoke. You are prayed for. How you are doing is every bit as important, and hopefully more important, than what you’re doing. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a place where they are loved?
Share Ren because our people are authentic. I know “authentic” has become a buzz word in churches. Authentic can mean, “Hey, I can be whoever I want to be and it doesn’t matter because I’m authentic.” That’s not the kind of authentic I’m talking about. I think Ren is a place where people can be honest about their shortcomings without getting cut off at the knees. Sadly, churches have a tendency to shoot their sick. I haven’t found that to be the case here. I like to believe that’s because we are growing in our understanding of the gospel.
Share Ren because we aren’t perfect. Some would suggest that’s an admission of mediocrity. So be it. We’ve always said we don’t have everything figured out. That’s not an excuse. It just means we admit we’re not God’s gift to Christendom. Here’s the thing: We want to get better. We want to grow. I want to grow as a pastor and follower of Jesus. As a church, we want to grow too. We want to make it easier for people to connect. We want to be better about meeting the needs of our people. We want to do a better job with our time together on Sunday mornings. We want to grow in areas where we serve. God is in control of who comes and goes. That’s not our job, but I don’t think wanting to get better is a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s just the opposite.
Share Ren because we want to go into our community and world with the gospel. We have a few ministries we’ve committed to support both locally and globally. We want to care for and invest in those places and people well. Our biggest wins, the moments that shape us as a people, don’t only come on Sunday morning. They come when we leave our own walls and pour into others.
Renaissance is worth sharing, but there can be fear in giving up what is familiar. I remember during our first year as a church Melissa and I were coming home from a Thanksgiving meal spent with the church. It was such a sweet time. It was one of those moments that you wanted to capture in a ReVive 2 January 2016 bottle. Brian Goins, our founding pastor, had delivered a great message—that wasn’t unusual. We ate good food. There was a deep sense that we were a part of something bigger than ourselves. Melissa said to me as we were pulling into our neighborhood, “That was so good.” I said, “Yes, and we will never experience it again.” Before you accuse me of being a wet blanket, hear me out. Moments like that are gifts from God. They are good, but they are simply moments. They are meant to be enjoyed, but I don’t believe God calls us to live our lives duplicating past memories.
Sometimes the fear of sharing is that we will miss out on what we had. We will end up losing in the end. Someone will eat all our dessert. Someone will sit in our chair. We will lose our favorite spot. But what if God has something better in store for us? What if the lessons he wants us to learn can only be learned if we let go of what we have? What if he wants us to share? Here’s the thing, I know that he does. Share Renaissance. Here are a few ways how:
• Have a conversation with a friend, neighbor, or co-worker. Think of a couple reasons why you’ve grown to love Renaissance. Share those reasons with your friend and say, “I’d love for you to join us Sundays at 10am.” If they would like more information, invite them to visit the website at renbible.org
• Consider inviting a friend to an event. Sometimes attending a women’s coffee or the men’s Monday night 33 video series is less intimidating. So far no one who has invited a friend has been seriously injured as a result.
• Post an invitation on Facebook. Your friends are more likely to see your invitation on Facebook than they are to see a piece of mail in their mailbox. It doesn’t cost a thing and you’d be surprised how impactful it can be.