Not Interested in a Social Club
“They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:45-47 NIV)
Imagine if for one year, a church stopped all of its regular activities and just focused on the great commission. Simply going out into the communities around our churches and sharing the gospel. Sharing it in tangible ways that really meet people where they are at. Go get people saved, baptized, and then disciple them all while meeting their needs in a variety of ways. What if the programming and agendas that churches have created are banished and it was an all-out effort on simply hitting the streets, praying with people, leading them to Christ and healing them? Wouldn’t that be awesome? I could imagine that if a church of 100 people just focused on the above plan that the church would grow in amazing ways. Would it grow to 150? 300? 1000? More? Imagine a large church of thousands reaching out with the single goal to live out the great commission for one year. Hard to say, but my belief is that it would grow synergistically, organically and blow the minds of all the Christians involved in the process. That would be wild! Communities would be altered. Radically altered…
But do we do this? Do we really focus on the only thing Jesus directed Christians to do—share the gospel and make disciples?
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20 NIV)
Bottom line, go get people saved, whoever will listen, and disciple them so that their eternal life is secured in heaven and so that the body of Christ grows, with disciples making disciples. As it goes, most churches today are focused on programming. Creating, what we believe, to be the next best thing in Christianity. We focus on Christmas and Easter plays, developing choirs, fundraising for bigger buildings, hosting big block parties, investing in sanctuaries that enhance our ability to entertain, teaching the masses that the only mission field is outside of the USA (keep in mind that both are important), and much more. Are all of these things bad in of themselves? Not necessarily. But all things that are permissible are not all beneficial (Corinthians 10:23). Larry Sparks and Ana Werner, authors of Accessing the Greater Glory boldly depict it as this. “He [Jesus] wants the protocol [orderliness], yes. He is totally okay with the program. But if protocol and program distract us from experiencing His presence, what can be life-giving will become an agent of death”.
Personally, I believe we have lost the focus. Big time. Maybe not entirely and perhaps not all churches in the Body of Christ have lost their focus, but this is a growing concern. However, it is not too late. We don’t have to go down this slippery slope. We can choose to live victoriously as the church and to do so by focusing on the mission at hand. In the power of Christ and by His Holy Spirit, we can make our communities, states, and nation change. We can make the world change.
Shall we settle for the “norm” that we have created in the modern-day church?
Think about it. Pray about it. We encourage you to take action, even in the midst of the COVID19 situation. Be the church. Listen to others, engage with them where they are at, and together, find the way to go to deeper levels with Jesus. When the disciples added to their numbers daily, they did that with a life-transforming message that people needed. They took the risk and reached out. Let’s think of it this way. We need to make each day count. Your focus, my focus, ought to be to add to the numbers daily. Not just numbers- like packing the house kind of numbers, but equipped disciples who can and will choose to equip others. That adding is actually multiplying! That means investing in real discipleship, hands-on training of the gospel intersected with authenticity. That kind of relationship changes us.