Have you ever wondered why you succeed at some things? Of course there’s a lot of reasons you might succeed, but I could probably guess (with outstanding accuracy I might add) it’s because you either made a solid commitment to your task, or, you’ve repeatedly done the same task over and over again with precision.
Coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks drives 2 rallying principles into the head of every Seahawk: 1) “Always Compete”, and, 2) Be “ALL-IN”. The Bible says it a different way: that we are all body parts of the same body. If a member of the Seahawks only studies half of the plays he’s supposed to know, or, if he only shows up to half the practices, he’s probably not “ALL IN” and he won’t last. In the church body illustration, if the kidney only operates at 50%, or, if we only have one lung, we are less than what we could be.
We here at NorthCreek are starting a new series called ALL IN. I’ll be challenging everybody: young/old, member/guests, 49er/Seahawks fans to go “ALL IN” in their commitment to God and his bride, the church.
With high confidence I will invite, challenge, and encourage everyone to be ALL IN in 4 areas: Loving (community), serving, giving, and growing.
Being half-committed won’t take you where you really want to go. Taking the path of least resistance leads to a destination of disappointment. Chillin’ will just leave you chilled.
In the story of Gideon in Judges 6 and 7 we find a wheat chewin’, John Deer hat and suspender wearin’ farmer named Gideon. God wanted him to lead the children of Israel in battle against the Midianites and their allies. An angel gave the order to Gideon and called Gideon the farmer “Mighty Warrior”. Gideon was intimidated, afraid, and doubtful.
Because Gideon was doubtful, he asked the angel to prove that God was with him by giving him signs. God responded by answering all of Gideon’s challenges.
With the strength that he had, Gideon went to battle with 32,000 men. The Midianites and their allies were as thick as locusts and numbered 135,000. But God said, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.'” So God carved away Gideon’s army so that only 300 men were left. 135,000 vs. 300. Gideon’s army was outnumbered almost 450 to 1! These odds were not good for Gideon and his army, but God…
But understand the heart of God. He wants to be known as the Great Rescuer so that we should not boast. God sent Gideon’s army of 300 into the battle with pots and trumpets. In the middle of the night, God instructed Gideon to blow the trumpets while the Midian army slept. Afraid that they were being attacked in the dark, the Midianites turned on each other and the battle was won in historic fashion!
Church planting is extremely difficult for both the planter/pastor and the people who have committed to love, serve, give, and grow consistently to see that the church succeeds. It’s hard work. Often challenging. There’s long hours!
But, there are glowing signs of the kingdom present! Salvations, restored relationships and marriages, people trusting Jesus more, people serving faithfully, and worship and praise given in adoration of King Jesus! It’s all for his glory!
But as we enter into this fall season at NorthCreek, let it be said of us that we are ALL IN in all 4 ways–loving (small groups), serving (volunteering), giving (tithing), and growing (Bible reading, prayer, etc).