"Maybe people haven't rejected the church, but the boring impotent God we have presented to them."

In verse 5 of second Corinthians chapter 13, it says examine yourself to see whether you're in the faith. Test yourselves. And then it goes on with final greetings "Finally brothers and sisters, rejoice, strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you."

"Greet one another with a holy kiss." I don't know about you, but in my family, kissing's not exactly the the way that we greet one another when we see each other. But I do recall as a child growing up in the church, people being called a brother or sister or greeting one another with greetings that were anticipated and intended to be greetings of friendship and acceptance and sincerity, fellowship, brotherly affection. Occasionally, it seemed to me some of those were more like Judas greetings. And as I got called into teaching and preaching, one of my professors said to me, "David, God loves people you don't even like.

Christians can be difficult to love at times. But this command to greet each other with a holy kiss or a kiss of love is repeated several times in scriptures. It's probably important for us to understand what that is. 

Do we just gather together because it's commanded, or is there something bigger at play there? How do we cultivate and express affection for fellow Christians? We know we are to love, especially those of the household of faith. A holy kiss or how we greet one another is a visible observance of that brotherly affection. 

Some of you know that I've been blessed over the last 50 years to, be co-vocational/bivocational, whatever the proper term is. And because of that, I am blessed to continue being a part of businesses around the world. Last year, I was asked to give a presentation in Washington DC, and this year, I was asked to be a keynote speaker in Vietnam. Again, I'm not much of a public speaker, but it's a blessing to be able to take Christian faith and, be a missionary or a minister around the world. 

When I was called to be the keynote speaker in Vietnam, I wrestled with how do I share my faith in a culture and a place that's limited access for the gospel. 

As I went to Vietnam, I greeted the folks from 9 or 10 different countries there with a holy kiss, and it opened an avenue for me to talk about my faith. The two things that I challenged all of them about was what are you teaching your students about who they are and why they are here? And maybe you should start with who are you and why are you here. 

And I turned it into this, what I call, Holy Kiss. So it's an acronym. The K is Knowledge. Over these almost 70 years now, I think I've learned that there is no substitute for knowledge. Whether it's knowledge of God, knowledge of scripture, or knowledge of the skill that you're using. There there is no substitute for knowledge. If we are going to do well, if we are going to flourish, knowledge is important. It's important for our students, and it's important for me, and it's important for you to know how do you know what you know.

The I in KISS is Integrity. What does it mean to be fully human? Who are you? Why are you here? What is virtuous? How do you decide whether you're wise or not? What does it mean to be holy? So, this whole integrity piece takes us back to what is your value system and how do you operate? And, how can you even have a a course on ethics if you haven't figured out what your values are or what integrity is, etcetera, etcetera. So that opens a whole door for me to talk about my faith and my value system based on my Christianity and my belief in Christ. 

Then the first S is Skill. There is variation in everything. In business, we want to measure everything, and we get tied up in knots about it. Well, we have more students this week than we had last. We have fewer people in Sunday school this week than we had last. Well, what does that mean to us? How do we react? What is the leader to do? Do we understand that there is a difference in that? So that leads me into a whole discussion about what are the skills that are necessary for the field of study that you're in, and how do we develop that, and how do we create that?

So knowledge, integrity, skill, and then the last S is an appreciation for System. The appreciation for a whole. What is the aim of our system? Is there a system if it doesn't have an aid? It has it has a purpose and a name. So it brings me back to this integrity and what is your purpose? What is the purpose of your organization? What is the purpose of your degree? How do you deal with that and provide information for our creditors with regard to system? So systems play a huge part in our ability to perform and to do good and to make a difference and be able to do the aim of the business or our personal aim, our own personal purpose in life.

If this KISS is right, it's about transformation of the whole, but it's also about transformation of the individual. 

We all are important. We need to have expressions that are visible for the outside world so that they know that there's a difference in in us and in the kingdom and being part of what God is doing through us. 


Dr. David Church


Recorded: Wednesday, May 1st, 2024 (Morning Service)

- Dr. David Church serves as 

Published: 05/03/2024

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