Blog

A Common GOAL // M-Note 6.14.2019

Dear Gathering,

Even if you aren’t a regular hockey fan, chances are Wednesday night you were at least around a tv with Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Championship on. The St. Louis Blues accomplished something I have been waiting a lifetime for…and it was an incredible moment. Sports fan or not, you couldn’t help but get into it this playoff season. From singing Gloria, to buying gear, the post season hockey playoffs seemed to take a diverse group of people living in an often fractured and frantic city and unite us. It gave us a common goal, a shared focus, and a storyline that at least for a couple weeks, we were all following and living.

It is small, but for me it was special to pop my head outside after the Blues one and hear people all over the neighborhood celebrating. Folks who normally don’t talk to each other were suddenly out in the streets, shouting at one another, banged pots and pans, shooting off fireworks, give each other high fives, and celebrating together. In a world where we do so much all by ourselves and all alone, it was powerful to be doing something together – even if it was just celebrating our hockey team. For one moment, we were united around ac common purpose, and it was powerful, inspiring and refreshing.

There are few times in our lives when we get to experience something like this. Normally, our city is full of hundreds of thousands of people that are living individual lives, going in a million different directions and are largely unaware or uninterested in what others are doing. That is just normal everyday life. In the midst of that, it stands out when we actually come together and unite behind one thing. In those rare moments when we rally around something together, it is noticeable and special.

I have seen the same phenomenon play out in church as well. Most of the time, we are all consumed with our personal to do list, weekend schedules and personal responsibilities. But every once in a while, we come together, to do something together, to focus our energy and passion on something together. The results are powerful. I was reminded of this during my recent trip to Mozambique as I witnessed several new wells funded with our most recent Christmas eve offering.

There are some in our church who wonder why wells in Mozambique? I mean there are millions of needs all over the world and right here in our own city. There are endless worthy causes, important challenges, and needed ministries that we could participate in. Most people pick and choose what they are interested in, and support those causes or ministries. But there is a power in deciding to focus our efforts and do one big thing together. That is what we ask you to do every Christmas, and the result is huge, impactful and inspiring. Doing things together accomplishes more, makes a bigger statement, and offers more inspiration than doing things alone.

Tomorrow morning, I know where I will be. I am going to make my way to downtown St. Louis and join thousands of others in celebrating. Rain or shine, I am expecting the collective excitement and sense of unity to be incredible. I want to be a part of it. In a smaller way, each weekend we have a similar chance when we gather for worship. Each week, church provides us an opportunity to unite and do something together. I won’t pretend that every weekend is as exciting as a Stanley Cup win, but each week we have the chance to create together something much greater than we could create on our own. That community, that common purpose, and that untied focus makes a difference. Mozambique is one of many ways in which The Gathering is making a difference together.

I want to thank you for helping to create that community. Don’t ever underestimate what we are able to accomplish together. With that said, consider two things this weekend. Tomorrow, come on downtown and lets celebrate the Blues. Our city needs and deserves it! Then, I hope that in the midst of our busy individual lives, you will come together and worship on Sunday. Let’s continue to create a Christian community that is making a difference in thousands of lives, not only here in St. Louis, but all over the world. I could worship alone, but it is a lot more fun, and will make a much greater impact, with all of you!

Peace,

Matt

p.s. Tuesday night I am hosting a book release event for my new book Let Go: Leaning into the Future Without Fear. It starts at 7pm at The Gathering McCausland. I will share a short talk about how we can manage change and transition in our personal lives (something many of us resist, but actually need to embrace). After the talk, there will be some refreshments, a chance to hangout, and a book signing. You will be able to buy a book onsite or bring a copy if you have one. This book is the culmination of a lot of work and I would love it if you would celebrate it with me. You can check out the facebook event here and it is open to anyone so bring someone who may be going through change in their life. I hope to see you Tuesday.