I’m not alone in my observations about the church. I have a network of friends that feel the same way. They are all very active in evangelism and discipleship; many in para-church organizations.
What attracts me to these is the passion that the people have for sharing the gospel. They are convinced that the gospel is absolutely necessary for life itself. They are hungry for the bible and everything it teaches. They build deep, lasting friendships that go way beyond the ordinary. They share their secret sin and hold each other accountable. Because Jesus means so much to them, they have no problems sharing their story. To them, this is natural and a privilege.
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t people like this in church. Not in the least. After all, these people are members of a church. Together, they represent a lot of churches. What I AM saying is there does not seem to be very many of these types of people in a church. Here’s something to consider. These para-church organizations give people an outlet to do what the Lord is leading them to do. Trust me, we all have tried very hard, many times to get going inside what we are doing outside of church.
There are also more people than we realize who have completely dropped out of any organized church. In fact, I’m amazed by the people I run into that are deep Christians but who don’t go to church. Why not? For lots of reasons including the ones I’m sharing with you. For example, I went into a store during a slow part of the day. I said something and the owner of the store said something, and we found out that we both were believers. Well, we started talking about Jesus and the bible and all sorts of things. Turns out, he didn’t go to church. At all. Oh, sure, he used to, but he doesn’t anymore and hasn’t for a long time. I actually felt he was missing the boat, so I reminded him of Hebrews 10:25 and suggested he come with me some time.
Well, I didn’t follow up with him. I thought about him many times, but something was holding me back. That changed, however, when I decided I needed a completely different course of action. So, I went to see him. As we talked, he reached into his desk and pulled out an extremely worn bible. It was already open. This guy knows his bible as well as anyone I know, and I know people who really know their stuff! It turns out he doesn’t neglect meeting together at all, as I assumed, but he has a couple of different discipleship groups he leads. He not only shares the gospel, but he disciples as well. All on his own.
I’ve met with several people lately who are very active in discipleship – all outside of the church – who are passionate about the gospel. They meet with a wide variety of people, from the skid-row alcoholic to the wealthy businessman and everyone in between. All sorts of backgrounds, races, and religions. It doesn’t matter. But you know what they say? They get fed by doing this work with others that do this work. Passionate people building up passionate people. More than one, just this week, has told me that if they had to make a choice between church and their ministry, they would choose their ministry. Why? Because it feeds them.
Am I going somewhere with all of this or am I just complaining about my church? I’m definitely going somewhere with it.
Father, please guide me. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers