It has been and is a privilege for me to serve on a number of boards and advisory counsels through the years. All of them have blessed my life in ways that are far beyond what I could have ever imagined. Each one of them has varying guidelines and goals. They all have specific purposes and plans. One of my friends often reminds those of us who serve as Trustees for Freed Hardeman that we should always be looking out for Funds, Friends, and Freshmen!
However, now I am officially an Ambassador, and I have the document to prove it. Here is how it happened. A few weeks ago an email arrived inviting me to be a special guest at our local Chick-Fil-A to receive a sneak preview of the new Chick-Fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich. I thought it was awfully nice of them to invite me when there are nearly one hundred thousand people in Lewisville:)
I accepted their invitation and today went by with my “special invitation” printed out to receive my free sandwich. I was welcomed warmly and was seated at a special table. The kind lady informed me that because I was their “special guest” today I would receive not just a sandwich; I would also receive fries and a drink (sweet tea of course)!!
After the meal, the manager came over and asked me if I would become an “Official Spicy Chicken Sandwich Ambassador?” I said, I would be glad to do so. He said, “You will need to sign this “Official Agreement.’” The Agreement says, “With great appreciation and anticipation, I accept the title ‘Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich Ambassador’ and do solemnly vow to uphold my mission to introduce five people to the New Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich. I understand that the coupons with which I have been entrusted are to be distributed, one per person, to five friends, family members, or colleagues. I further agree that, upon distribution of said coupons, I will enthusiastically encourage the recipients to make their way to Chick-fil-A on Main Street in Lewisville on or after June 7, 2010, to receive their FREE Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwiches as my special guests. I intend to distribute the aforementioned coupons to the following five people…Being of sound mind and discriminating palate, I do hereby enter into this Agreement of my own volition and without undue coercion.”
What a tremendous idea! As if Chick-fl-A needed more and better marketing!! Like many of you, it is one of my favorite places to dine, even before I became one of their Ambassadors:) They also happen to have some of the best sweet tea in the world which moves it up another notch as a dining establishment! Therefore, I am honored to serve as an Ambassador for Chick-fil-A. Oh, and by the way, IF YOU GET TO ME BEFORE THE FIVE COUPONS ARE GONE, ONE OF THEM CAN BE YOURS!!
Well, as you have probably guessed by now, this story has a point. You are probably way ahead of me, but if you are not, here we go. What if the church started recruiting members to be Ambassadors? It is, after all a Bible word, long before Chick-fil-A, or anyone else borrowed it. It is found in 2 Corinthians 5:20 where Paul says, “Therefore we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God were were making an appeal through us; we beg you on Christ behalf, be reconciled to God.”
I know, I know, some have said we can’t be Ambassadors today in the church the way that first century disciples were. The word Paul uses here literally means “to be older, to be or to act as an Ambassador.” It doesn’t seem to me that in Scripture this is confined only to people who have seen Christ as some say. However, if you feel strongly about that, at least allow me the opportunity to say that we can be Ambassadors in the way that our language defines the word. And while, it is true we have not seen Christ face to face, we have certainly seen Him in the lives of others, as well as in Scripture. The image of Christ is to shine in the lives of those who follow Him (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Surely, we can be Ambassadors in the way that the Chick-fil-A Agreement explains it. What if came up with an Agreement something like this? “With great appreciation and anticipation, I accept the title ‘Lewisville Church Ambassador’ and do solemnly vow to uphold my mission to introduce five people to the Lord and His Church. I understand that the Good News with which I have been entrusted is to be distributed, to at least five friends, family members, or colleagues. I further agree that, upon distribution of said Good News, I will enthusiastically encourage the recipients to make their way to the Church of Christ in Lewisville on any Sunday to receive their FREE teaching of the Word of God as my special guests. I intend to distribute the aforementioned Good News to the following five people…Being of sound mind and discriminating faith, I do hereby enter into this Agreement of my own volition and without undue coercion.”
Hey, Chick-fil-A has a great product, but ours is even greater. They have something that will satisfy the body for a short time, we have something that will satisfy the soul forever! Chick-fil-A has some wonderful people who are a part of their organization; my experience has been that the greatest people in the world are a part of the church. Chick-fil-A provides a great atmosphere for families. The church ought to be the greatest place on earth for families! And, don’t forget, Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday, we are open every Sunday, and should be every day of the week!! While I personally think it is great that they close their stores on Sunday, I couldn’t resist that one:)
Would you sign an Agreement like this? Would you commit to telling others the Good News? Will you invite others to be your special guests? Will you tell others about God’s Free Gift to the world? While you may not receive an Official Certificate, you will receive a reward that is better, an Eternal Reward.
On second thought, we already are. We signed the “Official Agreement” the day we gave our life to Jesus. It is a covenant sealed with His Blood that we contacted when we were baptized into Him for the forgiveness of our sins. He will never let His end of the Agreement to lapse. Will we??
Dear Father, help us as Your “Ambassadors” tell everyone we can about the Good News. Help us not to be ashamed or afraid. Help us, Dear God to remember what a tremendous blessing we can be to our friends and family. Please help us to bring as many people as possible to Christ, the One who gives Everlasting Life.