gps

Know Him and make Him known…updating the GPS

I’m one of those people that appreciates, enjoys, and openly declares the value of a good motto or slogan.  I’m always on the look out for not only a “catchy” motto or slogan, but one that also truly represents how that organization actually operates on day to day basis in the real world.

Many churches use a slogan or a phrase or two to express their vision and I’m all good with that.  In fact, I’ve learned that the process necessary for the leadership of a church to create and then adopt and begin promoting a motto/slogan is incredibly healthy and I highly recommend it.

Of all the slogans for various ministries that I’ve heard, my favorite has always been the one for YWAM.  I’m fairly sure Loren Cunningham didn’t invent it, that he probably heard it from someone else, but for more than 50 years, YWAM’s catchphrase has been to:  To know God and to make Him known! 

For years, I thought that you just couldn’t get much simpler or clearer than that.  That statement, in my opinion, is pretty much the GPS that every believer, not just a Christian organization, should be navigating life by.  I don’t really think it needs to be messed with…..but……I’ve come to the conclusion that another few words might be helpful to add.

The few words that I would add are the result of some of the things I’ve learned in our ministry to refugees here in Phoenix, talks with my youngest daughter and her friends and other 25 and under people that I know here in Phoenix and that younger generation that I’ve read about in various books about ministry to them.

The common theme among the people I just mentioned is that they are looking at people that claim to follow Jesus and measuring whether they want to know more, NOT by what those Jesus followers say about God but by how much those Jesus followers are willing to divulge about who they themselves really are in a meaningful relationship/friendship.  In other words, transparency, vulnerability, authenticity, and honesty, are what these people desire to see and hear from us before they choose to give any validity to our message.

So, here’s how I personally have updated YWAM’s slogan for myself:  I exist to glorify God by Knowing Him and making Him known by opening myself up to be known.  In other words:  To know God and make Him known…by letting myself be known.

Letting yourself be known isn’t comfortable, isn’t accomplished in a few minutes, and is always humbling.  But it’s worth it.  Our God let Himself be known through His Son…not only by the words His Son spoke, but the day in, day out living of life.  Our Lord was transparent, vulnerable, authentic, and honest in day to day life and all those He interacted with in that life.  He knew God and made God known by letting Himself be known.

And one last thought.  If this is crucial in our interaction with those who don’t know Him, how much more crucial is it for us to be that way with those who do know Him?  We may be all of those things in the pulpit, with our words and stories, but are we that way with our church leaders and our church members?  If we’re only that way in the pulpit, but won’t live that way in real relationship with staff, leaders, or church members, how effectively are we really making Him known?

 

5 replies
  1. Tim Brown
    Tim Brown says:

    Hi, Jeff – your post brought to mind something that has been roiling around for awhile in my thinking. It references Jesus proclaiming Himself as the way, the truth, and the life. It seems, in a simplistic way, that my Christian life (and maybe the CC movement) has moved through these various dimensions of who Jesus is and each had its time of emphasis while each remains essential in every phase of the Christian life. Here’s what I mean –

    When we first started out, the big message was: “Jesus is the way.” It was all about evangelism and getting saved and getting into the kingdom – and Jesus is the way!

    Then we got excited about the truth of God’s word and how certain theological pursuits and apologetics and polemics helped us to sharped our edge and strengthen our grasp of God’s Word. The emphasis was on truth (theological/academic/doctrinal) – and Jesus is the truth!

    And then we realized that along with getting into the kingdom and growing in the truth that there is a life to be lived – a life of spiritual power and transformation and integrity – and Jesus is the life!

    We begin with Jesus as the way, grow into Jesus as the truth, and mature into Jesus as the life. (It reminds me of the little children, young men, and fathers of 1 John 2). We move forward while leaving no aspect of spiritual experience behind. We preach Jesus is the way and teach that Jesus is the truth, but unless the world sees that Jesus is our life, our preaching and teaching falls on deaf ears. While keeping a firm grasp on Jesus as the way and the truth, Jesus has to become our life.

    Thanks for your post.

    Reply
      • Tim Brown
        Tim Brown says:

        Thanks for your kind words, Jeff. A further extension of this can be seen in the structure of the temple – courtyard, holy place, and holy of holies. The altar in the courtyard speaks of Jesus as the way. The holy place with the table of showbread and the lampstand speak of word of God illuminated by the Holy Spirit – Jesus is the truth. The holy of holies point to the very presence of God Himself – Jesus is the life. For me, I want to live in the presence of God!

        Reply
  2. Josh Olson
    Josh Olson says:

    Jeff, when you said the following, “We may be all of those things in the pulpit, with our words and stories, but are we that way with our church leaders and our church members?  If we’re only that way in the pulpit, but won’t live that way in real relationship with staff, leaders, or church members, how effectively are we really making Him known?” it made me think…

    I wouldn’t stop there. What about with our wives and kids at home. If its not happening at home, there’s no room for being genuine with church staff or in the pulpit. so much more here. Thanks, bro.

    Reply
  3. Miles DeBenedictis
    Miles DeBenedictis says:

    Jeff,

    Good reminders.

    I’m sure I’ve been reading many of the same books/authors you are on the generational topic. As one who is among the very first Millennial’s to be born (born Nov. of ’79) I can definitely relate to many of the things I’ve read in these books about my generation desiring genuine community with others. I find it interesting, however, that my generation is opting for a “sense” of community through virtual/online social network channels. While these things (texts, twitter, Facebook, etc) allow us to “feel” connected to one another at any moment throughout the day, they do not offer truly genuine one-to-one interactive community.

    Furthermore, it seems that many millennial’s tend to have difficulty actually interacting with “real” people; especially when those “real” people don’t have common interests or desires. When all our “social networking” is with people who “like” the same things we “like” on Facebook, it’s somewhat difficult to be missional.

    Thoughts?

    Reply

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