March 13, 2017
We’re suffering the effects of the original Space Program.
In May of 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered a request to Congress for $9 billion over five years for one of what he called urgent national needs: the goal of putting a man on the moon – and bringing him back safely – before the end of the decade. In July, 1969 – six years after Kennedy’s death – the dream was realized: Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin went to the moon, and back.
The Space Program accelerated, once there was a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) to focus America’s potential toward a tangible, measurable outcome. The tangential benefits of the technology innovations that were necessary for the mission served America’s interests far beyond the aeronautics sector. The rising tide of an out-of-this-world initiative propelled everyone to new heights…
There was a space program that was launched over 1900 years before Kennedy’s challenge. In his night-time hike from the Upper Room to Gethsemane, King Jesus delivered a request to his Father for an urgent need that would soon emerge. Upon his return to Heaven, the eleven Apostles – and, the people destined to join the movement we call the Christian faith – their essential value would determine their ultimate success. That value – unity – was not just window-dressing for wimps: it is a strategic necessity for us to achieve what Jesus directed.
His appeal: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23)
His desired goal: that the world would know about God’s love for them, and the mission that brought Jesus to the Cross. The strategy: all believers would experience relational and operational unity. Then – and, only then – would the global objective be realized. How’s that going?
Enter the space program: that’s the subversive strategy of the Evil One to create disunity among the family of God, who are the followers of Jesus and the ground-troops for the fulfillment of Jesus’ Great Commission. What’s the “space program?”
Here it is: Jesus wanted us to be a functioning part of His body (the metaphor he used to describe the entire community of redeemed people, the citizens of His Kingdom). The Evil One wants us to be apart from His body, operating independently in life, disconnected from the power of unity that God the Son asked God the Father to actualize in His departure. His goal for us: amputated, not accentuated.
When the Body – and its various parts (that’s us) – connects, with all of the parts functioning in alignment with their particular contribution, BHAGs are achieved. When the Body is disconnected, the sum of the parts never comes close to the potential of the composite. What’s the difference?
One click of the space bar: a part, versus apart. It doesn’t seem like much, but that’s necessary to miss the power of community.
We serve leaders; most are entrepreneurs. The default deficit for entrepreneurs? We/they tend to be loners, performing our LifeSong as a solo act, rather than part of a magnificent ensemble. One man bands might play Time Square, but they never occupy the stage at Carnegie Hall.
Are you living in sync with Jesus’ BHAG? Where is your powerful contribution to His purposes happening, with you doing your part alongside others doing the same? Are you a part? Or, apart?