Stop Bringing And Start Going
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
As we read through Acts we can see that the disciples took this command serious and they literally went into all the world proclaiming the gospel. They were persecuted, imprisoned, and killed for the gospel. Yet, as centuries have passed and we find ourselves here in America in 2011, there’s a lot less go-ing going on. One has to step back and analyze the reasons behind this lack of motivation to share about Christ; even to the point of death. Certainly you could come up with hundreds of different answers, opinions, and even arguments, but lets take a look at one option… The Church.
There’s been a shift in what the church was originally planted to be and what the church has now become. In the original founding, the purpose of the church was to be for believers. We see in the bible, God’s people coming together, the scriptures being read, and a discussion to follow. Church was a place you could come when you needed encouragement, strengthening, fellowship, discipleship, and support. The church still follows this general model today, but the messages we hear are often turned to a new crowd. The unbelievers. It’s not uncommon to attend a service and after the teaching, the pastor presents an opportunity for people to receive Christ in their hearts. Which, by no means is condemned or unacceptable. Our hearts should be as the Lords: “that none should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
What happens with this model, though, is that it can leave a follower of Christ frustrated and longing for more; a deeper message. The church home is not intended to be a place where we come and try to save people. Rather the church is a place that we should be able to come a “fill our cups”. A place that we can grow in our love and knowledge for Christ alone. Then, as we are renewed and trained, we should be sent out to the world to share about Jesus.
Yet, instead of going into the world, to our work, to our neighbors, to those we pass in the streets, or to other countries, we have learned to “bring” instead. When the church is relied upon for presenting the gospel, we need only bring people to hear the message. The extent of the average Christian’s presentation of the gospel sounds a little like this, “Want to come to church with me?” We’re able to do this because all we have to do is get them to church, the pastor does the rest, and we never once have to feel uncomfortable about anything that was said.
This sort of “evangelism” puts a far greater burden on the pastors of our churches and fails to challenge us as we halfway attempt to spread the gospel. We’ve lost our ability to tell people about Jesus Christ, our great and mighty savior, instead, we just need to tell them about church. We no longer have to “count the costs” of being a disciple. There’s no sacrifice on our parts.
So I ask, how do you make a difference? What steps will it take for you to start go-ing, and allow church to be what it’s supposed to be?