I don’t know about anyone else (well, I think I have an idea, but we’ll see), but I grew up going to school, playing sports, hanging out with friends and going to church, regularly wondering how I could be friends with or become affiliated with “that guy” or “that girl,” or that group of people. For some it was the jocks, for others the geeks, the skaters, the cheerleaders or another social class that would advance our personal social status (or at least make us feel that way). I think as adults we still do this.

Social justice is one of those buzz phrases in our culture today. From fighting diseases or feeding the hungry, to sheltering the homeless or rescuing orphans, plenty of “causes” both here in America and overseas are vying for our attention, our time and our wallets. Most of us are constantly drawn to these causes through television ads, media coverage, celebrity endorsements, social media and yes, even church. You’re probably thinking of a few you’ve recently come across (RED, Charity Water, Breast Cancer Awareness, etc.). These campaigns are designed to catch our attention, tug on our good American sensibilities, even make us laugh and ultimately enlist our generosity to aid in the advancement of each respective movement.

What’s baffling in many cases however, is not the advancement of each cause, nor the power of any one cause itself… In our culture of “celebrity” and “brand identity,” our affinity and draw to this cause or that often has more to do with who identifies or associates with the cause. Basically, it’s all the U2 fans who got on board with the RED campaign because of RED founder and U2 lead singer, Bono. The cause is often compelling enough on its own, but it’s another voice or face that pushes people past the “heart strings” to action through giving or volunteering.

However, as Christians, we have a different example. Our mandate as believers is not to make any name or brand famous here on earth other than the name of Jesus. The Apostle said it this way to the early church in Corinth:

“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

2 Corinthians 4:5

Now is there anything inherently wrong in doing good and serving others under an event title or organization? Of course not! The point is that we serve, and with our lives and our hearts proclaim “…not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.”

This June we have the opportunity to do just that — to meet the needs of our neighbors at Valley View Community School and proclaim the name of Jesus by giving our finances and our time. So let’s rally together, sure, as The Sanctuary and as a part of Project SCV, but most importantly under the name of Jesus. Let’s see community formed, needs met and lives changed. Give and sign up in our Sunday services or give and volunteer here

Let's be a people proclaiming the name of Jesus everywhere we go.

- Pastor Andy -