After going online to several church websites, it’s amazing to see how many different ministries are out there. Churches have proposed budgets for all sorts of things. There’s a bible study budget, a small group budget, staff budget, missions budget, food budget, Wednesday night supper budget, feed the homeless budget, etc. and the list goes on….and on…and on.
There are SO many things that churches fund these days as a business entity, yet the thing that matters most is what tends to be overlooked.
“Therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age.”
There are several things that stand out here to me as a Christian. In verse 18 it says “as you go.” This statement supposes that there is a journey that Christians will be on. This means that the church was meant to go out into the world, meet people where they are at, and (the second thing that stands out) share what God has commanded us, teaching them to obey.
I have no experience in divorce, in murder, substance abuse, etc. and therefore I would not be able to teach anyone about that. I can be of encouragement and be a Godly example, but I think what Christ was saying is to teach what He has taught you…and as you learn more, then teach that too. Basically, “don’t get ahead of Christ” because you WILL fail.
Anyway, the point of this scripture is to get the reader looking into scripture that describes what the church’s responsibilities are. I am not going to list them all here because then you wouldn’t look it up yourself.
What I think you will find is that the church was very mobile when it was first established, not unlike the life and ministry of Christ (hmmm go figure).
Over the years, the United States and much of the world, views the church as a building where people go to talk about religious stuff, feel good, and be busy on Sundays. How incredibly sad is that?! The last several generations have focused on “getting people to come to church” rather than “getting the church to go to people.”
I believe this is why today’s humanitarian generation is at odds with previous generations. The age group between college and young adult (20’s to 30’s) is a generation that doesn’t have a vested interested in a church building like before, and it’s not because of a lack of Love of Christ. It is because the older generations are vested in “getting people into the building” whereas this next generation (as stated before) seeks to go out into the community and serve.
The problem that the former generation is causing is that when the new generationdoesgo out into the world looking to serve, they are met with skepticism. While many people may not know the truth of Jesus Christ…they do know when a person is authentically loving them vs. checking off a “feel good” box on their social “religious” agenda.
So with these two opposing views…how do we work together as the body to achieve that which God has asked us to do?
Scripture says “as you go” and then commands us to teach people to obey what Christ has taught.
It’s that simple. Life isn’t meant to be lived behind walls, in a giant community of people who say they believe the gospel, yet have no “works” or actions to back up their words of confession.
People are often confused with this statement because it suggests that works can help with salvation though scripture says it is by grace alone. That is not what I am suggesting here. What I am suggesting is that works/actions enhance or help validate a Christian’s profession of faith in Jesus. Without these works it would be like saying “I am a baker” and never baking anything in your life. Without “baking” anything….the statementn “I am a baker” becomes a flat-out lie.
So it is with Christianity. You can’t merelysayyou are a Christian, you have toBEone.
That being said, we can’t merely be Christians in building that “say” a lot of great things and have a lot of great teachings, stories, calls to serve, ministries, if we’re not willing to go and actually do the work that God has called us into. It’s great to jump on a bandwagon, pay large sums of money and have everyone else do the work that we’repassionateabout…yet won’t do ourselves….but what kind of Christian does that make you?
It makes you a hypocrite. Someone who will say one thing…and do another. Someone who says “go and tell others about Christ” but really means “YOU go and tell others about Christ so that I can stay at home, write a check to church every week/month and not have to get my hands dirty.”
So here’s my challenge to churches (buildings) and THE Church alike:
Forget about the comfort of a building, boxes, decorations and things that WILL pass away, and start investing in the eternal beings that you meet every day. EVERY person is an ETERNAL being. They will either serve God eternally or suffer eternally. So let’s do our best to help everyone choose option one so that they don’t have to face eternity without Christ.
Eternity NEVER ends…..so it doesn’t matter how evil someone may be…I would never wish the lake of fire…on anyone.
There is only ONE Ministry for the Church. GO and tell others of what Christ has done for you.
[Start with Christ.Serve Outside The Walls.Be Authentic.]