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What are our expectations church?  I’m not talking to any church in particular here.  It’s an open question.

What is it we expect?  Do we expect to see a continue in decline of membership?  Why?  Because that’s the trend?

Do we expect to see a decline in offerings?  Why?

It doesn’t have to be that way you know.

Expectations are important.  They point us in the direction that we are going to head.  Expectations aren’t set in stone though.  Do we expect that our worship will be boring?  That no one will want to come?  That people have better things to do with their precious time on Sunday mornings?

Or do we have a different set of expectations?  What if we expected visitors to come to worship?  What would change for that expectation to take root in our churches?  What if we expected that people would want to hear Good News?  Would want to take it to the next step and be more committed?  Would want to go even further and become a disciple?

What if we proclaimed Jesus message of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation and started with the expectation that is summed up this way – Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a community that offered these things?  We live in a world that is all about might makes right, that you get what you deserve, and that forgiveness must be earned. But Jesus offers a different message and the unfolding of a different kingdom that will change the world.

Jesus is offering life.  Who wouldn’t want to hear that message?  What if we expected people wanted to hear this message because it cuts to the heart of the hole within them – the emptiness that they keep trying to fill in various ways but fail over and over again.  What if we expected that Jesus message was life changing – not just in bible times, but still today?

What do we expect?

I expect that the message of life will yield life.  I expect that a message of grace and mercy and forgiveness will yield amazing life.  I expect that people will want to hear more about how an encounter with Jesus changes their lives.  I expect that people will want to know more.  I expect that Jesus is alive and active all around us and inviting us to participate in the unfolding of the kingdom in unexpected ways.  I expect that I won’t know the answers or even the next steps often, but that it’s not about being right.  It’s about being Jesus for those around us.  I expect that this message that we proclaim will bring joy, will bring love, and will be present especially in the midst of tragedy, sorrow, pain, and brokenness.  And I expect that there will be many who are desperate for this.

What do you expect?

What does Jesus expect?

Now, what are we going to do with those expectations?