Every politician has what they call a stump speech. The term is derived from the custom in the 19th century in America when political candidates campaigning from town to town stood upon a cut down tree’s stump to deliver a standard speech that summarized and characterized what they believed.
This afternoon, I ran into a stranger while leaving a lunch I had just enjoyed with some of our leaders at HVC. I said “hi” and we started talking. In the conversation, it came up that I was a pastor at HVC. He said, “I’ve heard of your church but don’t know anything about it. What kind of a church is it?”
I said, “We’re not perfect at anything and have a lot of growing up to do but this is the kind of church we want to be: We want to be:
We talked for a few more minutes about what some of those words meant. He was puzzled by the word “missional” but after a few minutes, he was totally sold on the church being focused outward and to be a lover of their city in Jesus name. He also had questions about grace and what it meant to be Spirit led. Wow, I could have talked to him for several hours. We both had to get back to our offices but before we left, I asked him, “Would you go to a church like that?” His reply, “What time do you meet and where?”
I guess that answered my question. (I was also grateful to tell him to look for the big white cross on Greenhill).
Let’s get those words down in our hearts. I was surprised that those five descriptors rolled out of me so easily and that his response was so positive. Because of conversation I have had with our pastors, I have been memorizing those words this past week. Then, I have taken time to think about what they mean to us. I suppose this is a form of meditation. Then I spend a few minutes asking our Father to make us a grace filled, relationally driven, Biblically oriented, missionally minded and Spirit led church.
I now have a “stump” speech. I can say it in two minutes or discuss it for hours. This, I believe, helps people understand who we are at the Heartland Vineyard.