I got to spend some time today with my four year old nephew Leland. I found myself wondering what can I do to keep Leland busy? (He's got a lot of energy!) So, knowing a stream was nearby, we headed that way and I remembered something I loved to do as a kid - building dams in streams. We came to a spot where the water could go one of two ways. Immediately I felt the challenge. If we build a dam on the one side, we can make the water go down the other side! My nephew, being too young to question my enthusiasm for a ridiculous project jumped right in with me. We started grabbing rocks and tossing them into a long pile across the stream.
All of this got me thinking - many of us see our culture heading in a bad direction and we wonder is it really possible to change the course of things? Can the church make any difference at all? Well, the process of building this dam gave me a few ideas about that...
1) Changing the course of the stream was going to take a LOT of rocks. In fact, we needed as many rocks as we could get. We needed mega-rocks, small rocks, even seemingly insignificant pebbles were going to be important.
2) No one rock, not even a bunch of large rocks, could stem the flow of water alone. The large rocks needed the small rocks (even if they didn't think they did).
3) Rocks of all shapes, colors, and sizes were needed. If we only used small rocks, it would take forever to get the job done. But with large and small rocks, the dam came together quickly.
4) Even dead things could be recycled to serve the purpose (dead leaves, sticks, unidentifiable things)
If we are going to change the course of culture in America, we are going to need EVERYBODY! Large churches, small churches, in between churches, even dead churches! No one is insignificant. No one is unnecessary. Every believer, every church has a role and a part to play.
My nephew and I took great satisfaction in seeing the water rise behind our dam and flow into the other side of the creek bed. We had made a difference. And the church can make a difference. If we all realize our world needs Jesus and we need each other to take Jesus to our world!