Volume 33, No. 15
Living Out Love – Part I
As you read this, take a moment and reflect on the ways you live out your love in our city. Maybe you help neighbors in need, join local efforts for racial justice, volunteer at North Dallas Shared Ministries, or donate to Royal Lane or a local charity. I’m going to ask us to ponder how we live out our love as we approach stewardship season. Our stewardship theme for the month of September is “Living Out Love.” Although stewardship season helps us focus on paying the church’s expenses and bills, I feel stewardship is much more than finances. Stewardship is how we give our lives, all of our lives, to the service of God and to others. Stewardship is love. When we give of our time, our talents, and our treasures, we are giving love to all those in this city, nation, and world who desperately need our help and our love. And as we have seen in recent news events, it feels like hate has a bigger pulpit and wider reach than love does.
In the month of September, we will be learning how to live out our love. And there are two things I want us to focus on in our upcoming stewardship season: One item is a question and the other is a statement.
First, we tend to frequently ask the question “What do you love about Royal Lane Baptist Church?” And that’s a decent question and one that shines a light on the best part of the church. We tend to get a lot of the same answers, saying that we are welcoming, inclusive, family-friendly, thoughtful, and a second chance place for hurt Baptists. And these are good responses. However, in September, I’ll ask us to rethink that question by turning it on its head. I want to ask us, “How would your life and this city be affected if Royal Lane Baptist Church didn’t exist? If this place wasn’t here, what would be different in your world?”
I know for me, my children wouldn’t have a faith community where they could ask tough questions, a place to love and learn about all people, and to ponder the bigness of God. I know for me, I wouldn’t get to see Sarah Macias, and Tim Schaefer, and Reann Tiemann ordained to the Gospel Ministry. I know for me, the historical Baptist voice of inclusion and freedom would be diminished if not non-existent in Dallas as we are one of the only Baptist churches involved with justice efforts with Thanks-Giving Square. Baptists wouldn’t show up without churches like ours leading the way. Our church needs to be in Dallas.
In the next Mosaic, I will reveal the second item we need to consider as we move into this year’s stewardship season.