From Zero... to ONE!

Have you ever wondered why the name for the score of zero in tennis is called love? I was reading about it in an article written by J Michael Shannon. No one knows for sure, but one of the best theories suggests it is an English corruption of the French word for egg—a word that sounds a lot like love. A zero resembles an egg, so zero was called an egg. Today, we sometimes refer to zero as a goose egg. In life, however, love is never a zero. In fact, if you read the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, we are zeros if we don't have it. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I had a phone conversation yesterday with Ryan S. Kozey, who walked me through the results of our recent church survey on Spiritual Formation and Missional Activity. We covered a lot of things, and he gave us a number of action steps, but the phrase that will stick with me the most is when he said: "Your first priority here, is to move your people from zero... to one." From zero to one. What did he mean by that?

Well friends, be encouraged. Because far and wide, the church survey indicated multiple layers of spiritual health and an individual commitment to Jesus Christ. Our congregation reads their Bible 5 days a week, attends church at least 3 times a month, and invites others into their homes at least once a month. Our congregation seeks active involvement in various Bible study groups, and numerous service projects to the extent that we more than double the national average in these categories.  Our people feel cared and loved for by the church leadership, are challenged by the preaching and teaching, and are drawn to a closer to relationship with God by the music and worship ministry.

Where we have to grow, is where we need to move from zero; to one. In the last 12 months, there were a fair number of people in our congregation that intentionally built a personal relationship with someone far from Christ. In the last 12 months however, (other than one individual who shared their faith 40 times) most of you marked "zero," as the number of times you personally shared the Gospel message / your Grace Story of Jesus Christ.   

Here's the thing. Nearly half of the people who marked "one" or more as the number of times they shared the Gospel, also marked "one" as the number of times they personally saw someone come to faith in Jesus. Isn't that wonderful? The word of Christ will not come back void! When we share God's love with others, love is never a zero. Love never fails. 

God, would you do something incredible in our church. God, may you take the spiritually healthy roots here, and drive them down even deeper. God would you take our church from Zero... To One. Praise be to God!

- Pastor Milo



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