For the last few months, I've been reading and studying the book of Acts, as our church has been preaching through it. One thing the Lord has revealed to me over and over again is the zeal, belief in God's mission, and determination the church had to see God move in a powerful way.
As, I look at my own life and landscape of the church today, I feel as if there's this acceptable apathy and weak excuses about the mission and call of ministry of the local church.
Here's what that looks like:
- It's a lot easier to spiritualize and romanticize our faith vs. actually doing what Jesus told us to do
- It's a lot easier to excuse our way out of gospel reconciliation among relationships, racial divides, social divides vs. actually embrace the church family as it is modeled in scripture
- It's a lot easier to up and move churches when things don't go your way vs. see how the gospel informs and builds a family united through hurt and pain
- It's a lot easier to blame the church for our problems vs. own our sin
- It's a lot easier to excuse our laxity of mission vs. actually own the mission
- It's a lot easier to mock those who are serious about their faith vs. actually learn from them
- It's a lot easier to talk about community, love, serving vs. actually doing those things
- It's a lot easier to talk philosophically why you don't make disciples because it sounds spiritual when in reality you're just doing nothing
The list could go on...but as I use the phrase, 'It's a lot easier," I use it because it's really just a form of our own apathy and laxity towards mission. Read through the book of Acts, it's filled with men and women who have nothing but gospel belief and humble dependency on the Holy Spirit to move.
Today, I'm forsaking my weak excuses and acceptable apathy and exhorting our church family to do the same. As Pastor Matt Chandler, once said, "May we pester the Lord until he gives us our city." May we be so moved by the gospel in our own hearts that we have to tell others about the good news of what Jesus has done on our behalf. May we see the local church as God's plan for the spreading of good news. May we not squander what so many faithful men and women who gone before us labored for.
Honored to be your pastor.