Every follower of Jesus should desire to know God at a deeper level and to make Him known. But is it possible that one more desire needs to be added to those two? And is it possible that this other desire may actually be the most difficult? Pastor Jeff Jackson thinks so.
I’m one of those people that enjoys, appreciates, and openly declares the value of a good motto, slogan, or tag-line.
In fact, I’m on a constant look-out for them.
But that’s not all.
When I find a good one, I also examine how well and that organization’s motto, slogan, or tag-line actually represents what they do and/or how they do it in the real world.
Many churches use a slogan or a phrase or two to express their vision and I think that’s a good idea.
I’ve also learned by experience that the process necessary for the leadership of a church to create and then adopt and begin promoting a motto, slogan, or tag-line is incredibly healthy and I highly recommend it.
Of all the slogans for various ministries that I’ve heard, my favorite has always been the one for YWAM.
I’m fairly sure Loren Cunningham didn’t invent it. He probably heard it from someone else, but the reality is that for more than 50 years, YWAM’s tag-line has been:
To know God and to make Him known!
For years, I thought that you just couldn’t get much simpler or clearer than that.
That statement, in my opinion, is pretty much the GPS that every believer, not just a Christian organization or church should be navigating by.
I don’t really think it needs to be messed with…..but……I’ve come to the conclusion that another few words might be helpful to add.
The few words that I would add are the result of some of the things I’ve learned through being a cross-cultural missionary in a country outside the U.S.A. and through an intensive ministry to refugees that have been resettled to start new lives in our country.
These few additional words are also the result of many talks I’ve had with people that are under 25 years of age.
The common theme among all of the people I just mentioned is that they are looking at people that claim to follow Jesus and measuring whether they want to know more, NOT by what those Jesus followers say about God but by how much those Jesus followers are willing to divulge about who they themselves really are in a meaningful relationship/friendship.
In other words, transparency, vulnerability, authenticity, and honesty, are what most people that don't know God desire to see and hear from us before they choose to give any validity to our message.
So, here’s how I personally have updated YWAM’s slogan for myself:
I exist to glorify God by Knowing Him and making Him known by intentionally opening myself up to be known. In other words:
To know God and make Him known…by letting myself be known.
Letting yourself be known isn’t comfortable, isn’t accomplished in a few minutes, and is always humbling.
But it’s worth it.
Our God made Himself known through His Son--not just by what His Son taught, but just as importantly, by the way He lived His life on a day-in, day-out basis.
Our Lord was transparent, vulnerable, authentic, and honest in His day-to-day life and interaction with His disciples and others He came in contact with.
And if Jesus made God known by letting Himself be known, do we really think that we can reveal God to others without following the example of our Lord?