Branding is everywhere these days. From cars to guitars to people to cities, we are all concerned about creating a reputation that makes us instantly recognizable and widely known.
What’s our worship community’s brand? Are we known for facilitating dynamic worship services? For stirring visuals? Creativity? Tight harmonies? Crystal clear audio? Do we have a reputation for slamming guitars and tight rhythms?
While these things are all desirable, Jesus asked His people to be known for just one thing. He said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -- John 13:35
What would it look like if we all made loving one another our highest priority? What if love was more important than fat guitar tones? What if it was more important to me than people hearing my bass in the mix? What if love was more important than what style of music we played? What if it was more important proving I’m right? Radical stuff.
That first-century radical Paul put it like this: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. -- 1 Cor. 13:1-2
If love is so all important, and if it's to be our brand, how do we practically love each other in a worship community? Paul gives us a big hint in Galatians 5:13, when he calls us to “serve one another in love.” It seems that love and service merge together in God’s kingdom.
Service and humility go hand in hand too. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” -- 1 Peter 5:5. Humility toward one another is the key that places us under the grace of this powerful promise!
Jesus combined a formula for greatness with a personal mission statement in Mark 10:43-45, “…Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” If Jesus came to serve, and we desire to be His people, can we do anything less?
I hope you’ll join me in praying that the Lord will grant worship communities the grace to humbly serve one another, that we would be known as His people, and that our trademark would be love.