“Why?” “Why, papa?” I must have heard that question a dozen times from 2 of my 4 grandkids over this past weekend. It reminds me of the father and his toddler out fishing one day, when the boy asked, “Why does this boat float, dad?”
The dad thought for a moment and replied, “I really don’t know exactly.”
The four-year-old then asked, “Why don’t fish drown underwater?”
“I am not quite sure,” the dad answered.
The boy looked up to the heavens and asked, “Dad, why is the sky blue?”
Again, the dad replied, “I don’t really know, son.”
The son then said, “Dad, do you mind my asking you all of these questions?”
“Of course not,” the dad responded. “If you don’t ask questions, you’ll never learn anything.”
The why question often takes us off guard. Yet it is a good question as it relates to life, ministry, priorities, motives, and so on. For instance, “Why do we do what we do at EBC?” To answer that question with something like, “Because that is how we always have done it,” is insufficient.
If you have been around here and been paying attention you should know by now that our mission is to be a church that makes disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples…” We carry that out through a 4-E strategy: Engage, Establish, Equip, and Evangelize. This strategy is broad enough to include various activities, yet specific enough to keep us focused as to why we would add or choose to not add another ministry or program.
As your pastor, I am committed to looking for ways to more effectively and intentionally center all I do around making disciples and that it is in our DNA as a church. This is one reason I, along with the elders, believe that joining the Evangelical Free Church of America will increase our ability to carry out our mission.
“Why, pastor, why? Why would we join?” That is a legitimate question. In next week’s epistle, I will flesh this out some more. Suffice it to say now, the Evangelical Free Church that I had the privilege of being a part of for over 20 years in Portland, Maine, played a big part in my longevity as pastor there. Not only did the E. Free provide me with resources to sustain me in my ministry, but it also offered the church resources to develop leaders, and to support and equip the church to carry out its mission. Like I said, I will come back to this and other reasons why this is healthy for our church.