This is the fourth post in a series about the process of evaluation that our church leadership has been going through over the past several months and what it means for our church. You can the previous posts at these links…
As our church Elders and I worked through the process of evaluation, two key takeaways became clear to us. I talked about the first one – We cannot continue settling for “Good Enough” – in my last post. Today I will share the second key takeaway:
It is imperative that we disciple the body of Christ to be on the front line of meeting spiritual needs in our community!
Nowhere is this more clearly spelled out in Scripture than in what is known as the Great Commission, where Jesus said:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus is talking to all His followers – not just SOME! And this most certainly isn’t a suggestion. It’s a command!
We might be tempted to relegate this passage to those who are called to foreign missions in far-away lands. But we need to understand that “all nations” begins with “across the street” or “across the yard.” Don’t get me wrong – taking the message of Jesus to “the rest of the world” is a great thing. But how sad will it be if one day we find that people who live in our own town, on our own block, or on the other side of our property fence never heard the message themselves because no one bothered to tell them?
We also need to get our minds around the crazy idea that individuals – not church events, programs, and activities – should be the primary conduit for meeting the spiritual needs of those in our community. If we only view ministry as something for the staff and leaders of the church, then we are significantly limiting the opportunities and effectiveness of the Body of Christ!
We, the people that make up the Church, must see ourselves as the ones who will do the work of Jesus and share the message of Jesus with our community. We as a church must commit to helping every person who chooses to walk with us on this journey to become the hands and feet and voice of Jesus in their part of the community – wherever and whatever that might look like.
That is what it means to make disciples and teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has commanded us!
Who in your sphere of influence and relationship is in need? Who in your circle of friends and acquaintances is marginalized? Who do you know who does not have a relationship with Jesus? Those individuals are your mission field. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and step into that mission field – which might be as dramatic as walking out our front door and asking someone how they are doing, and if you can do anything to help them out. Or maybe just pray for them.
We will be offering lots of opportunities in the coming months to help prepare you – and all the rest of us – to be better aware of the needs that are all around, to have concern and compassion for those in need, and to be equipped to take action to help in a variety of ways. Be praying for opportunities to help others, and for the courage to actually do so… God will hear your prayer, and I have no doubt that He will answer.