A boat with no motor and no sail will not move until the oars go in the water. Oars are important—they are small in relation to the size of the boat, but they can make all the difference. The small word “or” is the same. It can make all the difference.
Visitors or Guests
This past Sunday we had multiple guests in the morning worship services. If they are visitors, they come and check us out—maybe they will be welcomed and maybe they will not. If they are a guest (thanks to Disney) we view them in a different way. We acknowledge that we exist at least in part for them. We try to make it easy for them to understand what we do and how we do it. We anticipate their questions and we are quick to tell them other aspects of UBC that might allow them to get involved and experience the comfort of community and the grace of God. What would it be like if every new person at UBC was treated as a guest instead of a visitor?
Tourists or Pilgrims
Tourists come to see what they can see, buy a few souvenirs, take some pictures and go back home. Pilgrims are on a quest. They come looking for something of significance that cannot be reduced to a postcard or a trinket from the gift shop. Tourists compare everything in the place they travel to things back home. Pilgrims are in wonder of a land not their own, seeking an experience, a story, a memory or a revelation. What would it be like if we came to worship and Bible study as pilgrims instead of tourists?
Attenders or Members
A member has to invest something. An attender shows up. A member might pay dues or be assessed fees or have to take a turn on a work group. A member takes it for granted that they are needed, that they are in their place when the lights go on. An attender makes the decision to come based on convenience. A member makes the decision to come based on commitment. A member contributes time, resources, energy and passion to an organization, a cause—a Savior. What would it be like if attenders couldn’t wait to become members?
Members or Disciples
A disciple is even a step beyond a member. A member is loyal to an organization. A disciple is loyal to a person. A member names a place or an institution as the place of their membership. A disciple names a Teacher and goes where the Teacher goes. To be a disciple of Jesus is to organize time, resources, desires, and discipline around the priorities of the Savior. Where members go to a building or institution, a disciple takes the teachings of the Master wherever they go. Vocation is before Occupation—a disciple is a follower of Christ who happens to make a living doing something fun and productive. What if University Baptist Church became known as a place where disciples gathered on Sunday and scattered to be Salt and Light to a culture that desperately needs it?
Let’s put our “ors” in the water and row.