Aiming Past the Target - Being missional community

Gate Pa – Pentecost 13
(23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time in Year A)
Psalm:                                     Psalm 149
First Reading:                         Exodus 12:1-14                       
Second Reading:        Romans 13:8-14                                 
Gospel:                        Matthew 18:15-20     

What I want to say:
I want to use these readings to explore the notion of missional community – being a community that by the way we live for each other and the people of our local community, especially the least, we shout of God’s presence in the world. I want to use Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks by August Turak to think about what are the targets we aim for and how they limit us and prevent us being such a missional community.

What I want to happen:
How does out life as St. George shout of God’s presence to the people around us? How do our hopes limit us and prevent us making such a noise?

The Sermon

       1.     Introduction:

Things most grateful for from youth ministry – missional community
-         community willing to discern work of God in world, and to have grace join that work (mission)
-         community that by the values on which the community stands and how they are lived out,
o   the way we live for each other
o   and the people of our local community, especially the least,
ð we shout of God’s presence in the world.
today’s readings are all about being a missional community.
so what can we learn?

     2.     Sense of Identity through Foundational Story

what heard today is liturgy – forms the foundational story – Jewish people
story of exodus recalled every Passover in the reading and interpretation from Deuteronomy 26:5-8
            – My father was a wandering Aramean –
in this story - roots Jewish identity
we were slaves in Egypt
God heard our cry for help
we became people of God, and God became our God
God rescued us from slavery and brought us to promised land
story retold and reinterpret throughout Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)
story still shapes Jewish identity today
what then is our foundational story?
how does that shape our identity – our sense of who we are?

     3.     Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks by August Turak

recently reading
Augy – wealthy entrepreneur, consultant,
spent significant amounts time at Mepkin Abbey – Benedictine Abbey, of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance; (Trappists) in Berkeley County, South Carolina. US.
book product reflecting on Cistercian life and how that affected business practice
how that can be applied to secular business
my question is – can it be applied to church setting
in book makes case that every person wants transformation
businesses can offer that through principles of selflessness and service.
chapter just read talks about importance of community
            seems weird thing business writer talking about.
case study company helped start up – grew out Friday night Zen group
bunch people wanted apply what learning to business world.
key feature of this was community
uses words like honesty
seems to me that that is exactly what Paul letter to Romans,
            and Jesus addressing early church through Matthew’s gospel are talking about.
commitment is about playing your role
            pulling your weight
interestingly, compassion isn’t just to individual, but to whole community.
e.g. – one sales reps father dying – needed time off – which gave
            remission – returned
            got sick again – she asked more time off and he said no
            people upset
what about compassion
told them could not afford lose ¼ sales revenue any more
only way happen if everyone else picked up slack
compassion has a price
and is two way thing
in end whole team picked up slack and all happened
all happened because they were committed to each other
all happened because people were honest
             didn’t gossip and complain
            talked Augey about decision
            together they worked it out.
Paul says that love is what undergirds our dealings with each other
not right processes – easily read Matthews gospel as providing
but love
out of that love we learn to treat each other well
serving each other with honesty
Does that describe us?
how do we need to grow to be more deeply shaped by this love?

     4.     Aim beyond the target

Another concept he talks about is aiming beyond the target.
companies suggests often focus on bottom lines
            profit margins
            share market
            best provider of that service
in contrast offers Apple
which was very small player computer market until Steve Jobs came back
until then aimed increase share computer sales
Jobs aimed past that
change people’s lives
offer them technology to help that happen
created iPod – small device store most music on listen to while out about
(until then portable cd and tape devices)
created iPhone – easy use smart phone access internet on
created iPad – easy use device easily transportable people on move
created cloud computing – allowed all devices talk to each other
Apple no longer small computer company surviving off crumbs Microsoft‘s table
The major player technology world
worth most any company - history
what Jobs did was aim beyond the target.
wasn’t interested in share of computer sales
that just got in the way
blinded Apple to what was really important
kept them small.
Jobs had vision
            wanted change lives
            wanted provide technology allow that to happen
            profit margins and sales came with that
            were not the goal

     5.     Our targets?

what are our targets?
what is it that we hope for, aim for in this parish?
how do they prevent us being who we should be?
My hope for us is that we will be a missional community
-         community willing to discern work of God in world, and to have grace join that work (mission)
-         community that by the values on which the we stand and how they are lived out,
ð the way we live for each other
ð and the people of our local community, especially the least,
ð we shout of God’s presence in the world.
large attendances would be great
vibrant youth group and Sunday schools - look awesome on my cv
healthy budget mean Paula vestry and I sleep better at night
need to aim past them
with luck some those might happen as we go
maybe all them
not the point
today reading offer us glimpse what means to be people God in this place
pray have courage embrace vision
so that we continue to become community faith that shouts of God’s presence with everything we do


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