We all have a tendency to want to build up… to build up our bank accounts, to build up our followers on social media, to build up our career and title. But what if we adjusted our goal? What if the goal became reaching out instead of building up?
When God created mankind, He gave a few instructions: go forth and multiply (have lots of babies), fill the earth (spread out), and subdue it (lead and take responsibility for what God has created). But somehow, by Genesis 11, mankind’s goal had really shifted.
Instead of filling the earth, mankind decided it’d be better to gather together, build a tower that reached up to the sky, and make a great name for themselves. The bricks that they made (a great innovative tool of their time) could have been used to build roads as they filled the earth. But instead they stacked them on top of one another, building a name for themselves one brick at a time.
This is the story of so many of us in the Silicon Valley. We have so many innovative tools in our hands, but we get sucked into the black hole of thinking, “What can this tool do for me? How can I use it to build MY platform, to leverage MY influence, to build a little kingdom for myself?” What if we all became very intentional about thinking, “How can I use this tool to reach out?”
The Church is a tool. It has been designed by God to fill the earth with the Good News about the love and forgiveness of God. But it can be easy for a church to drift into a shadow mission of building a great name for themselves… Or of focusing so much on who is already gathered that we lose sight of who is scattered. The Church, which has the very clear instructions of, “Go and make disciples in all the earth” can easily settle for far less.
As a church, South Bay has always been about making the name of Jesus great. It is His name and renown that we want to build up. Not our own. Our goal is to remove any barriers that we’ve created in order to continue filling the earth with the Good News of Jesus.
One barrier that we have recently realized we’ve created is the restrictive nature of our name, South Bay Church. If God is leading us to reach out beyond the boundaries of the South Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, we need to have a name that reflects that mission. So after a lot of prayer, consideration, and conversations, we have decided to change our name to be more in alignment with the vision God has given us.
Beginning January 28, the new name of our church will be Echo Church!
We want God’s love and the message of this Good News to echo out from here all over the world. We want to be a church who is much more concerned about reaching out instead of building up.
If you missed the big announcement at church this past Sunday, you can watch it here.
When you think about your personal life, what is a tool that you have in your hand that you could do a better job using to reach out instead of build up?