Growing up as a youth around the turn of the millennium, your church’s “Youth Group” was not relevant unless it had a really cool name for its mid-week gathering. Gimmicky as it often was, there was a deeper truth in many of those chosen names. Those sly youth ministers had to find a sneaky way to communicate biblical truths to a bunch of teenage kids desperately trying to figure out their faith. At Hyde Park Baptist Church our mid-week youth worship service was called “Souled Out.” Clearly, this was a word play on the concept of “selling out,” a pejorative term for a person committing the most heinous of societal faux pas. To “sell out” to something would mean that you were trying to fit-in and be “cool” at the expense of your true identity. It was conforming to an acceptable norm in your outward image at the expense of your authentic inward self. In short, being “Sold Out” was bad.
However, the idea of being “Souled Out” was good. See the nuanced difference? ‘Souled’ vs. ‘Sold.’ Those clever youth ministers! This version of being “souled out” was something that encompassed the whole person – inside and out. This was a commitment to being authentically souled out for Christ in every facet of life. Being “Souled Out” was the end-game goal of total surrender to the Lordship of Christ in your life. Admittedly, this cheesy
word-play has been transformative for me when I think about commitment to Christ and his church. We are called to be “Souled Out” for the Kingdom of God. That is what commitment is all about!
When asked by the teachers of the law about the greatest commandment, Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Jesus demands a commitment of you that includes your thoughts, actions, priorities, and livelihood. To love God means to love Christ personally by keeping his commandments. There is also a communal aspect to this love that cannot be ignored. To love God means being fully devoted to the local church at the beckoning of Christ Himself. That’s why we have been studying Acts 1-2 for the past few weeks – it is our heritage of living faith.
119 years ago, a group of committed Christians established Tabernacle Baptist Church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They began a legacy of service to this community as they sought to be witnesses for God’s Kingdom in Carrollton, Carroll County, and to the ends of the earth. God has called you to join this legacy of commitment for reaching all people so that they too may know, show, care, and share Jesus Christ. Are you committed to that legacy? Join us as we continue that connection with our commitment through the Fall Festival this Sunday afternoon from 3-5 pm. It shall be an awesome time of fellowship. I will see you there!
Expecting His Best,
Stephen V. Allen