I’ve been thinking a lot in the last two days about what is most important about the Church. Is it faithful witness to Christ? Is it community? Is it sharing gifts? Is is serving people in the world?
I remember being in seminary and thinking about my call to ministry and how that related to the pain and suffering in the world. I didn’t think I was called to be a missionary in a 3rd world nation, nor did I think that I was called to work in the inner city, yet I was learning more and more about God’s justice and God’s heart for the poor and disenfranchised of the world. I started to see that it was easier for middle class people like myself to just ignore poverty and other justice issues. I was suddenly aware that the real justice issue for me was not that poverty is there, but that its there and those of us who are rich ignore it or feel helpless to do anything.
I began to think that part of my ministry would be to work in suburbs or small towns and be active in helping the people there to engage justice issues as followers of Christ. Lately, I feel like I’ve been doing less and less of this. The whole focus of our church has not really been doing any of this. At times, the focus has ben on community, the sharing of gifts, but lately, the focus has been on getting people in the door. I feel like I’ve focussed on this in the name of evangelism, yet, getting people in the door is not the point. Yes, we should be inviting people in, but we need to be inviting them in to something – not just to hear a sermon and sing some songs. We are inviting them to be disciples, not just to hear about being disciples.
So, its time to shift my way of leading again, I think. More support needs to go to our Mission/Justice Team. More support needs to go to our Care Group Leaders.
Right now I’m preaching a series on 6 marks of discipleship. Perhaps we need to evaluate how we are doing in those six areas.