Sermon Summary (1/19/20/) “The Power of One” (John 1:29-42)
The Mission of the United Methodist Church (and this church) is “To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.” Question: What is the most transformational thing you’ve ever done? For me, probably Habitat for Humanity. A warm dry place for a family to lay their heads is transformational.
And did you know that Habitat for Humanity began with one man? Actually, one couple when Linda Fuller challenged her self-possessed millionaire husband to take his faith seriously. He did. Together they gave all their wealth away and began one of the most transformative ministries ever.
The priorities of the Missouri Conference are to 1) Identify and nurture missional leaders, 2) Start new places for new people, and 3) Create pathways out of poverty. The latter two require the missional leaders identified in priority one.
So what is the impact of a single invitation, a single person? In our story today, Andrew and John are disciples of John the Baptist first, and when John sees Jesus and says, “The lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world,” they approach Jesus and say “Teacher, where are you staying (same word as ‘abide’). Jesus calls them by saying “Come and See.” And they remained (same word as abided) with him all day. The next day, Andrew finds his brother, Simon Peter, and says “We have found the Messiah (the Christ).” Peter accepted the invitation and that changed the shape of the first century Christian community and Christianity forever. The power of a single invitation to a family member.
Who might be the missional leaders in your surroundings that could be transformational? They might be the obvious candidates. Or they might be the humble version of Christ that lead through humble service. “The last shall be first and servant of all.” They might be those that are just compelled to do that drag those around them along. Finding them may only take a single invitation. The Power of One.
And sometimes God provides. We have a case in point. Just when we were talking of New Places or New People, such a leader came along.
And we might find that person among us. You see, I was invited. “You need to go to Sarah Smith’s class.” (The district director of lay speaking ministries that eventually became my mentor.) Mid-State district has a Basic Course on Mar 21st and an Advanced Class, “Christian Transformational Leaders,” on Apr 4th. I encourage as many of you as possible to attend one or both of them.
Leadership may be quite different that you imagine. Jesus spelled it out for James and John in Mark 10 when they were looking for the perks of leadership, only to be told that “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wills to be first among you must be their slave.” The love of Jesus so demonstrated. Amen.