If a thoughtful person came to you and asked, “What is the most important precept in your church?” what would you say?
I’m guessing you would roll through your memory and quickly land on Matthew 22:36-40.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
One Rule or Two
If the inquirer says, “I asked for one precept, not two.” what do you say?
Do I hear you mumbling like a politician who doesn’t have a direct answer handy?
Would you feel threatened and attacked? Would you respond humbly?
Now what if my hypothetical inquirer asks, “How does that balance work itself out in how you invest your money? For example, are you willing to spend more money on a new microphone or on coffee. The mic gives you capacity to speak to a large group but you need coffee if you are going to have a conversation with your neighbour?
Volunteer Investment Balance
So my hypothetical inquirer presses further, “What about the hours invested in volunteer activity in your church? Have you tracked that? Do people invest as much time in loving neighbours as they do in planning and executing programs?”
My inquirer could ask other important questions, such as, “So how is part two of the one precept like the first part?”
Now I ask, “Have you thought much about this yet?” “Could it be that the doldrums you feel in your church have grown because you haven’t got the correct balance?” “What are your plans to figure this out better?”
I will grant you that questions such as these probably bring a sense of disquiet in your gut. They do mine. But when should I get upset and dig down deep to find answers? Now or when I face my Saviour?