445 S. Mary Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086 | 408 736-3120 | Questions? email becky@crosswalkchurch.com

The Man in the Arena

Last Sunday we had the honor of commissioning the staff of Sunnyvale Christian School for the 2021/2022 school year. During that short ceremony we shared the inspirational and courageous words of Theodore Roosevelt from one of his greatest speeches:
It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again .....
.... if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
It’s that line ....."the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."Gets me every time.Makes me ask if I am "in"?Makes me ask if I'm in the "right arena"?
You'd think as a Senior Pastor that question had been answered years ago when I answered the call to full-time Christian ministry.But I think it’s a constant question.Sometimes I can go through the motions.Sometimes I do what I do because that's what I do - how I was raised (in the church by a preacher father who was also the son of a preacher).But am I really "in"?Am I sold out, given myself over, fully-in-with-both-feet to what Christ is about?And am I in the "right arena"?I lead a non-profit that works with children and schools in slums; I often wonder about teaching at the university level; or what about my own consulting company bringing a different message to CEOs and Managers about leadership, vision, values and purpose?
But - the local church is the primary agent in the Kingdom of God.It is God's Plan A to save the world ....and he doesn’t have a Plan B.Am I in that - fully? That is THE arena to be in.I can come and preach and do some staff and Council Zoom meetings - but am I really in, really committed, really bringing my best for the main thing!
It’s been a joy to be around Crosswalk and see a Church Staff and a Church Council that are in and fully in!It has been a joy to serve alongside them.
Crosswalk has some very dedicated and committed people as part of their paid and volunteer staff.
But ...what about you?
Are you in? Are you in this local church called Crosswalk - the right arena!
When a long-term Senior Pastor retires the church loses more than a Senior Pastor. Often other people decide to leave and church shop or stay away waiting to see who comes next and maybe then return.
But the church is a living body.When a part of the body leaves ...the body hurts and limps.
Truth be told, while Crosswalk has many signs of health - we are limping!We have many volunteer roles and ministries that need people to step into the arena and be 'in'!
From Children’s Ministry to helping on Sundays, to serving with our homeless ministry partners, to visiting shut-ins, to helping youth ministries, to working with our tech team, to hosting home groups where people go deeper in the Word.Crosswalk needs people to be in - and not just in when the next guy arrives, but in now.
So my 'man in the arena' quote has caused me this week to ask if I'm really "in" and revisit my questioning if I'm in for the right reasons and in the right thing - trying to help local churches.
But what about you?Can you take some time and ask yourself that question.
Here's how I would word that question for every Crosswalker - "are you in Crosswalk as it journeys through this time of transition; and are you in as someone working for the new future ahead and not the critic pointing out all the things you wish were better."
That's a big question - but just now, that is a vital question to ask and ....to answer.
Think. Consider. Pray. Answer. Act.
Gilbert

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