Self-awareness at Lafayette
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3).
As he introduces a section on living as the body of Christ, Paul writes of self-awareness. Think about your place in the body. Think honestly. Do not think too highly of yourself. Do not ignore the gifts God has given you. Be honest. What is your place in the body? How do you serve others?
These are good questions not only for first century Christians in Rome. These are good questions for followers of Jesus in the twenty-first century. These are good questions for all the followers of Jesus at Lafayette to consider. Honestly. Without thinking too highly of yourself. Without overlooking your obvious giftedness.
As we prepare as a church for following Jesus, we need to have some self-awareness. In fact, we need some body-awareness; that is, we need to be honest about and aware of how we work in the body of Christ at Lafayette.
I suppose we could begin with some general questions for reflection: If everybody gathered for worship with the same consistency as me, what would Lafayette look like? If everyone worshipped God with their tithes and offerings with the same level of generosity as me, what would Lafayette look like? If everyone at Lafayette used their gifts to serve this church the way I do, what would Lafayette look like?
But let me ask some more specific questions that reflect the direction of our church family at Lafayette.
- Am I devoted to God, to the point where I consistently gather with my church family to worship?
- In what opportunities for spiritual formation am I involved?
- I what ways am I trying to build the fellowship and unity of this church? In what opportunities for building our faith community am I involved?
- How am I using my gifts to serve my brothers and sisters in this church family, this community of faith?
- Do I scatter into the community each week with an understanding that I am a mission partner at Lafayette? Do I interact with friends, neighbors, co-workers and others as a representative of Jesus?
These questions deserve sober reflection. These questions deserve honest answers. Truth is, everybody can come up with excuses as to why they are not devoted to the gatherings or why they don’t give generously. Truth is, not everyone may understand how to get involved, how to serve the church and the community, how to spur spiritual growth, or how to connect with others.
But if we are serious about being transformed, if we are serious about being a church that values spiritual transformation, if we are serious about following Jesus in a community of faith, then we will honestly consider our ways. As a church, Lafayette needs to make it very clear how you can do what is being suggested. In the weeks to come, we plan to do just that, lay out not only expectations of involvement and growth, but specific ways to get involved and grow.