It is Not About a Sermon It is About Vision and Mission: Charlottesville Ain’t New
All over the internet, we had calls last week for preachers to preach about Charlottesville. I heard the call and I fully agree that we should stand for, live for, fight for and preach about justice. What I am responding to are the calls that went something like this, “If your pastor doesn’t preach about "said issue" this week then you should find another church.” I would rephrase that call. If your church does not have as a core value the liberation work of God for all people, then you should find another church. What I am trying to say is that this weekend was not about a sermon but rather it was about the very vision and mission of the church. We as a church are not called to be reactive but rather we are called to be prophetic.
At Wheat Street our vision reads like this:
We exist to develop mature disciples of Jesus Christ who make a real difference in the world by actively seeking the justice, freedom, liberation, and peace of God.
(Luke 4:18; Matthew 25:31-46; Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 1:16-20; Mark 6:30-44; Mark 7:1-23; Mark 9:33-37; Mark 10:13-16; Mark 12:41-44; Acts 1:6-11; Acts 2:14-21; Acts 2:43-47; Acts 4:23-37; Philippians 4:4-9)
At the core of who we understand ourselves to be as a faith community, at Wheat Street Baptist Church, is built on the foundation of the liberative work God is doing in the world. This is more than a sermon, or a reaction to the latest, continuing acts of hate. We do this work every day, it is not about the latest sermon it is about the continuing struggle for justice. It is not the sermon but the vision and mission that I am more concerned about. What is your church’s vision and mission and how does it speak to justice? It is the everyday work we do in the struggle that I am focused on. As much as what we say on Sunday is important it is equally important what we do Monday through Saturday as prophetic witnesses who act by the power of God in the world to fight for justice, this is our call. So yes, we preach and we then live in such a way that our preaching becomes lived in this world as we fight for justice. We don’t need an act of hate/racism to spur us into action. We are called by the prophetic ministry of Jesus, the radical liberator, to this work of liberation every day!!