It started in late summer. Just snip-its of an idea for reviving a youth discipleship retreat at our church that hadn’t happened for a few years. And as it would be the eleventh time this retreat would take place the theme would have to somehow revolve around the number eleven. For me, being a fan of mockumentary’s and rock music I immediately thought of the scene in This is Spinal Tap where Nigel is explaining that their amps are more impressive because they go to eleven…one louder. So it just made sense. The eleventh time that this retreat would take place would have the theme ‘One Louder’ with the theme verse of Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” But what began as a theme and a theme verse became so much more.
One Louder became a code word, a manifesto even for living out the Kingdom of God in everyday life. Sometimes it seems that the church doesn’t always do such a good job in bringing heaven to earth; they stop at ten. And One Louder takes it to eleven and has that extra call to be true to our calling in Christ. One Louder is buzz language for living out of ones own comfort zone and reaching outside to those who don’t yet know the love of Christ. One Louder is the acceptance of the outcast, the defense of the oppressed, the standing up for the bullied, and the love for the unlovable. Ultimately One Louder is a life lived for the other.
But it doesn’t stop there. One Louder is a life lived to eleven. As Paul is nearing the end of his ministry he writes to his young protege Timothy and says, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:6-7 Paul had lived a life One Louder and he compared it to being poured out like a drink offering. I don’t know about you, but when I pour something out there is usually nothing left. Paul is pleading to Timothy that to live the life we are called to that we constantly pour ourselves out for Christ. A life lived One Louder leaves one empty…a life with space for more of God. This is where the faithfulness of God comes into play. As we pour ourselves into a life lived One Louder, God fills us more and more with His presence.
So we find our calling…so we find our purpose…so we find our fulfillment in living a life One Louder.