During the presidential election, "Yes We Can" became a familiar slogan for Barack Obama, Democratic Party nominee. Recently I saw the following slogans on vehicles: "My child is the best student at ________" and "I am the best grandpa."
Slogans have been used to motivate and inform over the centuries. In Fresno, city busses are wrapped with the message to find out information about Islam. Many believers have commented that this ought not to be; however, with free expression, tolerance at times is difficult.
I have personally faced the onslaught of slogans. The power of words can sting and leave residual stains. Southern Baptists in particular have had our fair share of slogans over the years - "A Million More in '54," "Bold Mission Thrust," "Empowering Kingdom Growth" and "Great Commission Resurgence."
Slogans may motivate and/or inform us, but Christ's command is to GO! People are reached for Christ through a personal touch. We are quick to spout slogans, yet the urgency is to live our faith in such a way that the world would want to follow our example of following Christ.
We must be an example of transformation, and no slogan can do that. We need to connect with people where we live.
Recently I have been reading, "Just Walk Across the Room: Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith," by Bill Hybels, founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago. The premise of the book is personal evangelism and taking the time to be genuinely interested in the lives of those with whom you come in contact daily.
The desire of Christians to go across the globe is good, yet can negate our willingness to go across the room, street or neighborhood to share the Good News of Christ. I believe it is timely that our California Mission Offering theme for this year is "Reaching the World in California: The Great Commission Begins Here," based on Acts 1:8. Every believer has a story - your life transformed by Christ! We've been commanded to "go" and "tell," beginning in "Jerusalem."
In this issue of the California Southern Baptist is a special section about California missions. Please look at the wonderful stories of evangelism, missions and ministry taking place right here where we live. I encourage every California Southern Baptist to tell your story at every available opportunity.