Have you ever put bubble bath in a jacuzzi? I have – it didn’t do anything. I put in the water, poured in the soap and… nothing…Then, I turned on the power and the water was shooting out of the jets and in no time at all the bubbles appeared and quickly began to overflow the tub!
Asbury UMC in Pasadena is a church that’s a lot like that. We’ve been working for some time now to understand the vision and direction God was calling us to go at this point in time. We’ve been praying and listening for a proper discernment of the steps to take to move into the next chapter in the life of this 60+ year-old church. And in that time God has given us this audacious goal of reaching and building relationships with 1oo families in the next 6 months (it’s audacious for a church worshipping 230 on Sunday morning). To make this happen we’re doing a variety of things in our logistics and scheduling and connecting ministries. We’re working on ways to engage every member in the mission and vision God has given us. In other words, we’ve been putting the soap into the water.
Well, for a lot of people God just turned on the jets!
There is an energy that is building, a sense of God’s Spirit moving powerfully in us and among us. As we have taken hold of the vision and taken ownership of our call there is an excitement beginning to bubble over. It’s a great time to be in this place with these people.
The challenge before us now is getting others to “bubble up” and engage in an amazing work that God is doing.
It’s a big temptation and a relatively easy thing for people in churches to live spiritually dormant lives – like soap in a unpowered Jacuzzi. The trick is to flip the switch and bring those lives to life. The question we’re asking now is, how do you flip that switch? Or, even, can we flip that switch? The problem with people is they’re not soap; the problem with the church is it’s not a jacuzzi. But just imagine if we could find the way to bring people to a greater sense of life in Jesus Christ and turn on the jets.
That’s been my passion for ministry, it’s my hope for the people I see on Sunday mornings. I hope for them to discover the life that is truly life – the life that is more challenging, more daunting, more impossible, and more joy-filled, adventurous, and overflowing than any life we can make on our own. And yet, I think I’ve begun to realize that my greatest challenge is letting God push the “on” button in my life, letting the Holy Spirit stir up my soul so that I begin to reach my potential and fulfill my purpose in God’s work. All I can really do is encourage others to do the same. Can we flip that switch? Not really. Switch flipping seems to be a work of the Holy Spirit that happens in the lives of those who are willing to be stirred up.
So, here’s my pitch – give Jacuzzi Jesus a chance to change your life, let The Holy Spirit move in your life and help you reach your potential and ultimately make you bubble over for God’s glory. Personally, it’s been the best ride of my life.
Holy high five to you, Mike.