Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where is the action?

Speaking of action...
I remember when Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark first came out. I saw it at the theaters and can remember walking away from there thinking that was one of the most action-packed movies I had ever seen! It was as though one action led to another action leading to another action filled scene.

What if our churches were like that?
One action leading to another action leading to yet another action-filled church.

Here is a prime example of what I am talking about (a prime example of a church that does not have action)

"****** ******* Church is a community of Christians who joyfully worship God and who actively seek out unchurched people to help them become authentic followers of Jesus Christ."

That is the mission statement of a local church. Notice a couple of the words they chose to use.
Both of these adjectives would imply a positive, action-filled behavior. And yet, their idea of actively seeking is to just invite friends and family to church.

Now contrast that with the early church of Acts. Yes, they actively would seek but how did they do it? They went out and spoke to people about God. You will not find a single instance of them saying, "hey, come to our church this sunday, we are having a potluck with some good food and some good music." No, they would present the gospel message to the people they are talking to. They would present God's Law to the people who did not know about God's Law and then they would present the message of the cross to them. If they already knew about God's Law then they would present the wonderful grace of our Lord and Savior. The key is this...
Each person did it themselves. They did not rely on having people come to church first to learn about God. Each person knew the gospel message and would tell people about God.

Do you want your church to become active? Do you want it to become so action-filled that one action leads to another leading to another and another? When you get out of the church and start presenting the gospel message to people yourself, (instead of taking the lazy way out of just inviting them to church) then you will find yourself energized in a way that you have never felt before. Yep, it can be scary and very nerve-racking, but it is also one of the most blessed feelings you will ever have. When you get out of the church and start reaching the lost with the message of the cross, you will be energizing the church one person at a time! If each person within the church would do that, our Lord and Savior would receive all of the glory and all of the honor!

If all you do is invite people to church without telling the people why they need a Savior then you have just wasted all of the preaching that has come from the pastor. Why do I say this? Think of it this way...

The pastor's job is to equip the saints. He preaches God's Word to you so that you can be equipped to go out into the streets reaching the lost the way Jesus did. You are supposed to be equipped by the pastor and God's Word. Okay, so you say you don't have the gift of evangelism. But someone in your church does and it is their job to equip the saints so that they can go out into the streets reaching the lost the way Jesus did. The church is to equip the saints so they can do the Lord's Work. If all we do is invite people to church, then we are taking the lazy way out and are showing that we are not truly equipped ourselves and if your pastor has not equipped you after years of attending that church, then I would not want to invite people to that church because the pastor is not being effective in doing his work. He has not properly equipped the saints.

Are you equipped? Think about this the next time you want to invite someone to church. We are ALL called to preach the word of God, in season and out of season. We are all called to fulfill the Great Commission. Go into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature. It does not say, Go into all the world inviting people to come to church so they church can grow. It says you are to go, preach the gospel to every creature. Preach the Word of God!

Be energized and be action-filled all to the glory of God!


Question of Identity said...

Once again I can't agree with you more! In England we have a 'Back to Church Sunday' where people are encouraged to invite their friends and neighbours 'back to church'. This is not only (in this day and age)somewhat presumptuous it is not really proactive.

Ironically on the very same day of the year the organisation that I work for holds a 'Get Out More' Sunday. The aim is to persuade churches to close the church building for the day, to hold worship in the community and get out telling people about Jesus.

This is certainly more like the acts model of being church - but even then - we need to make sure that the message we give is the full gospel of repentance and forgiveness and renewed relationship through Jesus Christ with God the Father.

michelle said...

our church is actively bringing church to the community... if the community won't come to church than let church go to the community... :-)