I've been pondering something lately. Well, I guess I'm always pondering something! Life is much more interesting when you ponder stuff. I mean there is always something to ponder, right?
This time I am pondering the church. Not so much the "body of Christ" church organism, but the church organization church. This is specifically what I am pondering: It seems to me the church is mostly organized to push Christians to live right. Is this bad? No, not really, but too much time, energy, and money is spent on trying to get Christians to stop living like the world! I mean, come on, if you're not of the world, why act like the world?
Let me break this down a bit. Across the board, it seems that most messages/ministries are designed to urge Christ-followers to stop doing what they know they shouldn't be doing anyway. It seems to me most of the energy is expended on warning believers about the wiles of the world, or even other denominations, groups, or leaders in the universal body of Christ.
As a youth pastor a few years ago, I remember having to spend most of my time and energy teaching teenagers to stop doing those things Christians don't do! Let me say again, I heartily agree this is part of ministry of the church...but it shouldn't be all of it!
Looking back, the Scriptural thing would have been to choose a very few who were serious about Jesus, and spend much more time with them, teaching them the things of God's kingdom. It's natural to feel we shouldn't neglect anyone who at least comes. But are we truly neglecting someone who could care less about Jesus, at the expense of NOT making disciples, as Jesus instructed? Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt. 28: 19 -20)
Based on God's Word, my opinion is that the church should be making disciples. We must understand that a "making disciples" mentality is based on the word "Go". Too often we base our ministry on the word "come". I'm sure you've heard the line from the movie Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come." But Jesus says, "If you GO, they will COME"! Not everyone should go overseas, but everyone should go. We must understand that it requires going in order to take what we have to others. We must go out of, and into. We go out of our homes...into our jobs. We go out of our homes...into our schools. We all go out of our churches...into the world. We go NOT to live like the world, but to live for Jesus and to live like Jesus!
This may be a little controversial for some, but let me say we shouldn't look for opportunities to convert someone. No...we should look for opportunities to make a disciple! I will explain that clearly, but not in this post! You'll have to wait for part 2 coming shortly!
I am available to speak in churches, conferences, workshops, special meetings, and groups. For more information you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.