McMinnville Seventh-day Adventist Church


A Christ-Centered Focus

We are starting a new officer year this month. Where will your focus as a leader and a church member be? If I aim at nothing, I will hit it! So, where should I aim? Let Scripture give us an answer. In Colossians 1:18 (NET) we read, “He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.” If He is the first in all things, then He is not just a VIP in the church, but He is the MIP (Most Important Person) in the church. He is #1 in all that takes place in the church.

We have already adopted this approach in our church. How? Where? In our recently adopted Mission Statement:

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
We choose to cooperate with Him,
to mentor, witness, and heal relationships.

This is a statement that not only invites me to believe the theory of Christianity, but to engage in an experiential walk with Jesus as my best Friend. He calls me to partner with Him, to cooperate with Him in His Way, His Truth, and His Life. It’s not about me. It’s all about Him!

When I was a young preacher, I found it hard to preach about God or Christ. It was easier to preach about the second coming or the about the evils of this world. I had made Christianity into a doctrine and it was easier to preach doctrine, than to talk about what a living Christ had done or was doing in my life. That was scary, and too personal! It was easier to present an argument of logic based upon “Thus says the Lord,” than upon what God had done for me in my life. As Seth Pierce says, “. . . we ‘didacticise’ Christianity through the way we teach and defend our doctrine. The result is Christianity becomes about ‘what’ instead of ‘Who.’” (Gleaner, June 2015, p. 41)

Ellen White put it like this, “The Saviour knew that no argument, however logical, would melt hard hearts or break through the crust of worldliness and selfishness. He knew that His disciples must receive the heavenly endowment; that the gospel would be effective only as it was proclaimed by hearts made warm and lips made eloquent by a living knowledge of Him who is the way, the truth, and the life.” (Acts of the Apostles, 31)

So it was that only in my later years of ministry I learnt that having a relationship with Jesus is essential to preaching the Gospel, to evangelism, and to every part of ministry and what it means to be a Christian. I learnt that I need to know Jesus personally as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, before I can be a successful mentor of the Truth, that models what I preach, that witnesses to His Way in my life, and that has changed my life, because He has become my Life. People will see that you have been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

- Pastor Jerry Joubert