Why do we call it a bullseye? Why not call the center of the target the bearseye? Or the catseye? I’ll let someone else google it and post the history of that word in the comments.
But all of us know the target analogy, right? We are shooting for something. We desire for success in our work, in our raising of children, in our academic pursuits, in our financial goals. In most areas of our lives we have at least some fuzzy notion of success and in many areas we have some pretty crisp, well defined standards of success.
So what is the bullseye of the local church? What are we trying to accomplish here? I think it is easy to float in and out of church without much thought to why it exists or what it is meant to accomplish.
When we started ReCAST over six years ago the goal was to worship God and find more worshipper for Him! A pretty simple and straightforward goal. And our vision under that has been that we worship Him best by growing in faith, growing in community and growing in service!
If we desire to please God then we must exercise faith. Faith is the belief and trust that God exists and that what He has revealed of Himself in Scripture and through His Son is indeed true. So we continue to grow in faith as we take in God’s Word, believe it is true, and go out to live in that truth. This passion for growing in faith is the reason why ReCAST has been committed to the expository exegetical preaching of God’s Word. We gather together as God’s people to hear from Him, believe Him, and allow our lives to be transformed Him.
But growing in faith isn’t intended to be accomplished in isolation. God created us for realationship and community. We need others on this road of faith. Anybody who comes to church with no intention of connecting with others is missing the point of church. The point of church IS THE GATHERING. In our modern age of soundbytes and favorite “rockstar” preachers we can easily lose the central truth that the church is not a program or a building, but it is the people. When we come to church, we come to a gathering of people . . . Messed up jacked up people . . . Just like us. And God has graciously placed us in a community with people who are different from us! Sometimes we get along well and sometimes we need to work through issues, but in all of these things, God is sharpening us and growing us together in community.
And everywhere that community exists the need for service multiplies. We were created to be useful to others! And God has given us a specific shape and form of usefulness. The church is a place where we have ample opportunities to show love for others. At ReCAST we have volunteers who head up and coordinate our sound team. We have had a volunteer music leader. Our very substantial children’s ministry has been run completely by volunteers. It is amazing when I consider how many people have volunteered to use their time, energy, money, and talents to serve one another in the body of Christ at ReCAST. God desires for us as members of the church to continue to grow in service by sharpening our gifts.
So back to the original question of the bullseye. Is it faith? Is it outreach? Is it community? Is it service? It may seem like I just laid out a shooting range instead of single target with a bullseye! But I would like to suggest to you that the bullseye is ultimately glory to Jesus Christ (which we call worship) as we grow in faith, community and service.
A healthy church is a gathering of people who are focused on seeing Christ honored above all other things! I believe that the only way a church does this is by the individuals within that church living it.
I am in awe of the way that I have seen God continue to grow ReCAST in faith, community and service. I must confess that there have been times in our short history where I have been tempted to water down the mission or down shift into church growth models that follow current trends. But at the end of the day, my conviction remains strong that the Word of God, the loving community of the saints, and the maturing that comes through heartfelt service, is the pathway to the growth that matters most!