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If you, like me, are involved in either paid or volunteer Christian ministry, or both, it can be very helpful now and then to think about what really IS the agenda here? What is GOD trying to do?
The REAL AGENDA Is Not —
Often, it seems, we have to define good things by what they are not. The Good, like God (it IS God, actually) is really far beyond us. We are each one coming out of foggy darkness and muck, and clingy old vines and weeds and sticker seeds, and rot, and manure, and just “stuff” clings to us and we need some constantly re-affirmed clarity as to what needs to be plucked off and left behind.
In service of that project, here are things that are NOT the “REAL AGENDA.”
- trying to get individual persons to agree with us, or to join us, formally or otherwise
- the promotion of any local, regional, national (etc) organizations, institutions, persons
- the promotion of the ideas of Evangelicalism (or whatever your formal or informal grouping)
- the promotion of the structures of Evangelicalism
- trying to entice people into any or all of our stuff
- trying to get people to like us, approve of us and our strategies, ideas, personalities, arguments, selves
- the getting of speaking or leading engagements
- getting published
- making a group agree with our theories, agenda, strategies, formulations of teaching, behavior, structure strategy, purpose,
- whether the group is family, small group, church, segment of town, town, region, nation …
The REAL AGENDA Is:
The real agenda derives from the character (or the Being) of God, and God’s creative physical and especially spiritual activity. Or, it IS the character and Being of God. It is not decisions made or priorities established arbitrarily by God at Creation or some other time. It does not derive from the needs or characteristics of Creation- those after all derive from the agenda of the Creator.
That’s why all the “nots” on the prior page are true as “nots”. They cannot — literally cannot — set themselves as the true agenda, though they earnestly desire (in their expression by and love by humans) and labor persistently so to do.
Because it is GOD — THE GOOD GOD — The Real Agenda is …
It is the moral- or values- or priorities-things that are true of God. Not “things we find to be true of God.” The Real Agenda does not depend on us finding it, or explicating it. It just IS.
However, we find that Christ is pretty insistent on making the fundamentals clear.
He does make them clear, with strong backup by the Prophets and Apostles. And we already know it. And, it’s the Real Agenda not just for us, but for all.
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.
- As you have done to the least of these you have done to Me …
- The only thing that counts is faith working through love.
These activities tend to get tangled up with the “Not” list above. But they are not the same thing, and that is very important. If our service is going to be judged, it will be judged by the Real Agenda, I am quite sure.Because it is GOD, 'The Real Agenda' is the moral- or values- or priorities-things that are true of God. The Real Agenda does not depend on us finding it, or explicating it. It just IS.Click To Tweet