Jump Start # 2799
Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
It’s the “Big Mo,” and it’s really important. Without the “Big Mo,” businesses drift, teams lose and candidates are defeated. The “Big Mo” is important spiritually and it’s up to leaders to keep that “Big Mo” going. And, just what is the “Big Mo?” It’s momentum. Other words would be zeal, passion, involvement. Here in our verse Paul says to “Keep standing firm.” Keep on keeping on is what preachers often say.
A great illustration of momentum is seen at the airport. Giant airlines parked are held in place by small blocks that are placed by the wheels. Those blocks keeps the planes in place. A plane couldn’t move over those blocks. Yet, you see a plane coming in to land. It’s moving very, very fast. It could plow through a brick wall. Momentum. It’s often hard to get it started and once it’s going, it needs to keep going.
There are many things that drains our momentum. After a week at Disney, back home to the daily grind, it’s hard to get up and get going. I see this when church has a special series of lessons with a visiting preacher. There is a lot of excitement leading up to it. The building gets a polish. Friends are invited. There is a lot of talk, prayers and hope surrounding these special events. I’ve seen it. The special series of lessons ends. The visiting preacher flies home. The next Sunday feels like the air has leaked out of a balloon. Seen it. Felt it.
And, here is why these thoughts are important to us. Many, many places are starting back up with in person worship services. Some are starting up with various classes again. It’s been a long time. Folks are excited about seeing each other. Preachers are thrilled to put the camera and tripods up. Face to face, is always the best way to connect, teach and help one another. It’ll be exciting, at least for a while. But, as with anything new or different, the momentum fades, the zeal wanes, and interest tends to shift to other things.
Some thoughts for us:
First, some in trying to find ways to keep the “Big Mo” around turn to artificial means that are often questionable or even unbiblical. Worship is not a circus, now does it complete with TV, stand up comics or the fast paced entertainment world. It’s not designed for that. Yet, adjusting the schedule some and plugging in some special singings, classes or unique ways to bring video and discussion together is something to put some thought to. Great things happen when there is a lot of passion and zeal. That needs to be tapped into and used in positive and constructive ways for the Lord.
Second, much of our momentum, is personal and individual. Too many rely upon others, even the church, to keep them pumped up and going. Our passion and zeal are wrapped around our faith. The greater our faith, the more we will be zealous for the Lord. This is why within one congregation, one person could be on fire for the Lord and the other person nearly lifeless. They hear the same sermons. They sing the same songs. So it is not the exterior things, but what is within them. What we do outside the building has much more to do than what happens within the church building about our walk, faith and passion for the Lord.
Third, leaders cannot ignore the value of momentum. When it is lacking, discouragement, depression and doubt arises. Some start dropping out. And, like mold on the wall, discouragement doesn’t go away, it generally spreads. One family, then two, then several. It spreads to the point that no one wants to teach classes. No one wants to come to special meetings. No one wants to do anything. Lifeless, listless, and dead. I’ve seen it. And, I’ve seen church leaders who didn’t understand why people weren’t doing better in their walk with the Lord. That’s an easy answer—they lack zeal, passion and the “big Mo,” has left them. It’s hard to do what you do not feel like doing. And, generally a lecture and a warning is all that they get and that doesn’t change things much. The Thessalonians were told to encourage the fainthearted. Rather than pointing fingers, they need an open hand of help and compassion. But, just as discouragement spreads, so does encouragement. One log that is burning will start a fire in the log next to it. That’s the way encouragement works. Leaders will see that. They will put those who are lacking momentum around those who have it.
Holidays end. Vacations end. The roller coaster ride ends. But being passionate and zealous doesn’t have to. One doesn’t have to have special days to keep the fire burning brightly within him. His love for the Lord and his faith in what the Scriptures teach is all that he needs. He’s Heaven Bound. Things are only going to get better. What a joyous way to keep strong and going in the Lord.