Every member of a LOG team is asked to sign a covenant that begins with the words, “I will strive to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God …”
In introducing this covenant, I always explain that we use the word “strive” on purpose – calling us to do our very best while all the while knowing that we are not perfect and will at least now and then fail in our efforts to please God.
But this leads to the inevitable question, “What is pleasing to God?”
Because LOG is an ecumenical organization with members from many different churches and communities, one of our core values is that we “affirm the things we hold in common and set aside the things that separate us.”
So what do we hold in common as pleasing to God?
In Matthew 22, when Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment (read what God most wants from us – what most pleases God), Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 …
Love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.
And then he added a second great commandment …
Love your neighbor as yourself.
So we covenant to strive to love God and love each other (and love our neighbors that aren’t serving with us on LOG team as well).
Now what that looks like may differ from person to person within LOG according to their background and church affiliation, but I suggest that striving to please God on LOG team looks like this:
This covenant begins with personal lifestyle choices and also includes expectations for commitment to the LOG team. Team members are asked to make these commitments or indicate on the bottom of the page that they would prefer not to sign it and would like to talk to me about the covenant. In such cases, we talk about what it means to strive to please God and look for the common ground which we can affirm and from which we can move forward.
When I was a child, I obeyed my parents to avoid the risk of punishment. As I grew up, I chose to live in a way that would please them, not to avoid punishment, but so I could have a good relationship with them and express my thankfulness for all the love and goodness they had poured into my life.
May it be so for us in our relationship with God – that we strive, do the very best we can, to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God – with grateful hearts and committed lives.