May 8, 2015
Everyone has expectations. My father made that clear when we went out in public. “You will not embarrass me,” he used to say. I knew that how I acted in public was a reflection on my father and all the Joneses that went before us. My actions are a reflection of the larger family. This idea that a group has certain expectations is not unique to my family.
I suspect that many of you have lived with those same expectations. The fraternity or sorority in college demanded that you abide by certain rules because that is what it meant to be a Tri-Delta girl or a Beta Theta Pi guy. The employer that you work for expects that you will abide by certain rules and guidelines, and your employment is contingent upon you not embarrassing the company. A few years ago, a PR executive at a big firm was going to Africa by plane and just before boarding she Tweeted a highly inappropriate joke about aids and Africa and skin color. (The joke wasn’t funny enough or appropriate enough to be repeated.) While that PR executive was still in the air, her Tweet had gone viral; and the company had publicly disowned her. Basically, she was fired before her plane touched down in Johannesburg. She had not lived up to what it meant to work for her company.
I wonder if Jesus wishes that, like that company, he could get a different PR department. Have you seen what we Christians write on Facebook? The God, who told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, says and celebrates exactly the opposite on social media. Jesus showed grace to sinners and those who are excluded, and yet we rarely ask the question – would Jesus have posted that? Would Jesus have said that?
Jesus’ PR department begins with us. Every day in how we interact, we represent Jesus; and our job is not only to avoid embarrassing him, but to live in such a way that we counteract the negative PR that he gets. My favorite response from a friend at St. Andrew when asked what his role is here at St. Andrew says, “I’m here to serve.” This is why our mission statement leads us to become passionate servants of Christ. It is our best way of living for our own life and our best way of representing Jesus. In this way we not only avoid embarrassing Jesus, but we live in a way that builds up the Kingdom of God.
We are here to serve.
P.S. We have a new Volunteer Center at St. Andrew across from Children’s Check-in and the bookstore that will help us volunteer at St. Andrew, at our local missions, and our global missions. This is going to become a key way that we help our people invest in service that will set us apart. Starting this week, we have one grand need for volunteer help. Over 300 churches will be sending their pastors and lay leaders to our campus for 3 days, Sunday evening, June 7, through Tuesday, June 9. St. Andrew has the opportunity to show who we are and thank these leaders for their ministry while they are here on our campus. In order to do that, we have over 300 volunteer opportunities for greeters and hospitality. If you want to help out, go to this link and sign up.