I was recently in a conversation with someone who’s church is getting ready to close their doors. It is rather a sad situation and some rather bizarre situations as well. They have around 150 people still attending the church. As we were talking about church and what the purpose of the church was, I asked him the question what were the visions and goals of the church. Much to his anguish, he did not really know. I asked him what the church was actively doing to reach souls for Christ. He said our outreach is inside the church.
This is the exact idea that is getting the church in trouble today. This is developing the consumer mentality and not the biblical mission that we are called by God. Although the phrase, “to be in the world but not of it” is never in Scripture it is definitely a biblical principle. How can we expect the unsaved world to want to come to church? How can we expect as Christians to have an “outreach” when we are still inside of the church?
Scripture is very clear when it says…go! Not stay, not sit in your pew, not be complacent in your church, but to GO! In other words get up, and reach out! Find people that need the Lord. It is an easy thing to do, because they are everywhere. Go into all the world and find souls. Too often we enjoy sitting in the pew rather being active in our life for Christ. We often sit in our house rather than actively looking to find men. We are more involved in our church programs, church activities, and church projects to forget why we are here! The church WILL not grow from the inside out. It will only grow from the outside in.
Christianity is an active lifestyle, not a dormant, comfortable, complacent lifestyle. To truly reach the world we have to be in the world. We have to go beyond our walls to get to them. No matter how awesome your programs are or advertising is, developing a genuine relationship with people outside of church is key. As Scripture teaches us to go into the world, it also teaches us to disciple them. Discipleship does not start at the point of Salvation, but actually before a person ever receives the Lord as his Savior. See we are teaching those people from the very beginning what it is to be like Christ. We are teaching them to duplicate Christ. You are the one they will be duplicating. Living for the Lord is a great testimony that people will look after, but if they do not see a difference in your life, then you will teach them to live the same.
So how are you discipling the world? Who are you trying to duplicate towards Christ? Not to say that there are not people you will not be discipling in the church, but reaching beyond the walls is where true discipleship begins. Sitting in our pews, gives us this sense of comfort. It is a place that we do not have to confront our fears of true outreach. So we produce programs and activities justifying this to be our outreach, when all we are doing is really producing complacent Christianity.
For more information on Firestone Baptist Church please go to FirestoneBaptist.com or call 303-7336-9959