This is what I told my congregation three years ago…

I said, “One of my biggest fears is that I won’t matter and that our church won’t matter.”

This confession came along with a call to action.

It was a call to love our enemies, care for the poor, live reconciled with one another, be pursuers of justice and people of peace.

It sounded so missional.

People said amen.

Some people probably even cried.

But it was wrong.

It was just a new legalism.

In fact, it was anti-gospel.

It was one of those statements that sounded just good enough to make you think that it’s correct.

But, what I essentially said was, “In and of yourselves you don’t matter and if you really want to matter you’ve got to earn your mattering. You’ve got to pull yourself up by your own moral (albiet progressive moral) bootstraps and make a difference in the world. Then you will matter.”

Do you see what’s wrong with that?

Here’s the thing:

We do not “matter” because of what we do or don’t do, no matter how progressive and missional it might seem.

We matter because our lives are wrapped up in Jesus Christ.

We matter because the God of the universe said that, even inspite of our sin, we are worth giving His life for.

We do not need to spend our lives worried about whether or not we have lived lives that matter.

We can relax in the truth that we do matter. And in turn we can live lives in free response to His grace.

Yes, we can be people who love our enemies, care for the poor, live reconciled with one another, be pursuers of justice and people of peace.

But we do those things, not to earn or mattering, but to express to the others that, like us, they matter to God.

When approach it like I said three years ago, living missionally  just becomes a new legalism.

Any that is quite ironic, because thats the last thing we want to be.