There’s plenty of New Year’s inspiration out there. You don’t need any more from me. Instead, here’s what’s on my mind today.
Yesterday I met with someone who had made some mistakes in some paperwork. They felt bad about the mistakes and said nobody had ever told them how it was supposed to be done. I told the person that I knew their mistake was not intentional – they just didn’t know. I told them I was reminded of Paul when he said the only way people would know and believe in Jesus is if someone tells them.
“But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them.” (Romans 10:14 NCV)
Thom Ranier is an author and blogger. Yesterday he sent out an email with 7 of his 14 predictions for the church in 2014. One of his predictions was about growing churches. He predicted that the primary way that growing churches would grow in 2014 would be from people leaving dying churches and going to a growing church. In other words, we’re not plucking people from hell, but just plucking those who have already been plucked from hell.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are a lot of ineffective clergy in a lot of churches. I understand there are some clergy who would go get a ‘real world job’ if they could find one. I understand that there are people in pulpits who do not appear to be called to the ministry and others who just do it because there is little accountability and you can get away with doing hardly anything if that is your goal. I get all that. And I don’t blame someone for leaving that kind of church and church leader to find a place to worship that helps them in their Christian walk. This blog is not about criticizing the people who leave a church and go to another one. I understand.
My concern in this blog is regarding clergy and congregations and Christians who don’t make (new) disciples, which is nearly every pastor, every church and every Believer. And this isn’t a blog to make you feel guilty. It’s a blog to remind you and me that the main purpose for us being on earth is to help others find Jesus. If we believe that people are lost without Him, if we believe He makes our own lives better, then we will want to help others find that peace, comfort, and strength. And that’s what will lead to plucking those who need plucked, seeing real church growth, and seeing personal growth.
If you can’t bring yourself to tell the un-churched about Jesus, can you at least start with an invitation to church.