Imagine Your Church… 11th February, 2013Posted by Scotty in Books, Challenges, Church, Mission.
I spent the last few days reading Follow Me by David Platt. Towards the end of the book (p175-176) he says something that I think most churches today would find challenging and so I thought I’d share it:
“Imagine your church.
Don’t picture the building or parking lot, and don’t envision the activities and programs. Just the people. Whether there are fifty, one hundred, five hundred, or five thousand of them, simply imagine the people who comprise your church.
People living in a world of sin and rebellion, suffering and pain. A world where over three billion men, women and children survive on less than two dollars a day, and a billion of those people live in absolute poverty—in remote villages and city slums where hundreds of millions are starving and dying of preventable diseases. A world where billions of people are engrossed in false religions, and around two billion of them have never even heard the gospel. They are all (literally billions of people) on a road that leads to an eternal hell—suffering that will never, ever, ever end.
But you and the people in your church have been transformed by the gospel of Christ. In your minds, you know that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save people from their sins. In your hearts, you have tasted and seem that he alone can satisfy people’s souls. Your wills are now abandoned to his ways, and you long to be his witnesses throughout the world. God has banded you together as brothers and sisters in a local church with a global commission: make disciples of all nations. God has filled every single one of you with the power of his own Spirit to enable each of you individually and all of you collectively to reach the world with the gospel.
So if you had nothing but people—no buildings, no programs, no staff, and no activities—and you were charged with spreading the gospel to the whole world, where would you begin? Would you start by pooling together your money so that you could spend millions of dollars on a building to meet in? Would you get the best speaker, the greatest musicians, and the most talented staff in order to organise presentations and programs that appeal to your families and you children? Would you devote your resources to what is most comfortable, most entertaining, and most pleasing to you?
I don’t think your church would do these things—and neither would mine. Not if we really believed God’s Word and were honestly looking at God’s world.”
To give a wee bit of context… David Platt is a mega church pastor in the States. He’s been on an intense journey… thrust into the lead role in a mega church at a young age, pouring over the Scriptures, and trying to reconcile pastoring thousands of people with Jesus example of spending time with twelve men (and turning away thousands)!
He is in no way suggesting we throw out the baby with the bath water. He’s simply inviting us to consider what the Word says we should be all about (making disciples of all nations) and to evaluate how effective we are being in carrying it out.
How easy it is to get our priorities in the wrong place and subtly make it about us instead of the nations!