This post is taken from a personal journal entry dated April 18, 2013. Much has changed in my life since then, though the sentiments below remain largely unchanged. It’s always interesting to go back and retread journal entries and compare thoughts and feelings from then to now. In this case, I feel very much the same way I felt when I originally captured these thoughts.
I have a confession to make. I want to be part of something powerful, to contribute to the greater mission of God. I want to be part of a disciple-making movement, to see the body of Christ take to heart the mission He has sent us on: to make disciples of all nations.
My fear is that the Church is not so passionate about making disciples. So many people are content to attend church and warm the pew. Each Sunday morning has become for many congregations a tradition and not a training opportunity. I believe the church’s purpose is to train believers to carry out the mission of God in and among our communities and neighbors. Without each believer’s commitment to carry out the task, our hope of making disciples is stymied. It is imperative, then, that we stoke the fire God has placed within each of us so that it utterly consumes us.
What if we made the mission of God the highest priority in our lives? What difference would we make in our communities and among our circles of influence? How many people would be introduced to the freedom of grace found in the gospel? How many people would see their lives change dramatically for the better because of a relationship with Jesus? Do we care about those things enough to make the mission of God a priority—the highest priority—in our lives? More questions than answers plague my thoughts these days.
How can motivated believers mobilize a stagnant group of Christians to change how they see church? What if every worship service was seen as a divine homecoming wherein the family of God gathered to sing, shout, and extol the praises of God? What if the division of the Word of God was an in-depth training opportunity designed to equip believers with more tools to be the hands and feet of Christ? And, what if each Bible class met with the purpose of ministering to one another, to the church, and to communities in which we live? What would that look like? I believe it would look very different from what is seen in churches all across America.
I imagine a church where believers gather to share how God has used them to bring hope and grace to the people around them. The church would be a place where fellow believers can pray for one another in their pursuit to honor the mission of God, where believers can sharpen one another. I imagine a church where believers gather to express heartfelt gratitude for salvation and for God’s hand in their lives. The worship experience would be genuine and emotional at the same time. Hearts overflowing with gladness and joy — despite circumstances — would join together to sing God’s praise. I imagine a church where believers soak up application as God’s Word is taught from the pulpit and within Bible classes. Pens in hand, notebooks scribbled in, believers all over would be actively listening and recording methods for sharing the truths being revealed. And at the conclusion of the worship gathering, the doors would swing open and an army of missionaries would pour forth from the building committed to reaching a lost population with the gospel of Jesus to the glory of God.