Last night Amy and I watched a designer cake competition on the Food Network. We have watched these things before, but honestly I had never paid close attention until last night. Last night, the competitors were making cakes based on Disney Pixar movies.
What stuck out to me last night was one of the most important parts of the competition, something so simple that I really took it for granted: carrying the cake from the kitchen to the table. Remember, these cakes are several feet tall and several feet wide and held together with far less than super glue and caulk. I never would have thought that carrying a cake to a table was a big deal. However, when I saw one man's cake that he had been working 7 hours on fall apart as soon as he moved it to the table, I realized how important this final step was. You can work all day in the kitchen baking a cake, but if you can't move it out of the kitchen and to the table where everybody can enjoy it, you have wasted a day.
Ever since the show ended, I can't stop thinking about that cake. I keep thinking about my ministry, about the ministry of my church and of every church. Eddie Hammett constantly chides the local church for being too inward focused, forgetting that the Great Commission is a call to go out into the world. Last night, I realized the church is a lot like one of those designer cakes. You can spend hours, days, weeks, years getting it decorated and looking nice, but if you can't carry the church and its message to the table for everybody to enjoy, you have wasted a lot of time and energy.
There have been a lot of ideas kicking around in my head lately. I think last night God may have given me a focal point to help pull these ideas together: Get It To the Table. I want to see First Baptist's ministry and my ministry grow and develop, but I want to make sure that all of us are as focused on getting that ministry to where all can benefit from it as we are on building the ministry. It would be a shame to expend a lot of time and energy and watch it all fall apart.