I was sitting in a lecture (for missions school), one of the speakers told our class that he had just gone to a Christian bookstore searching for books on missions. While searching, he noticed that the majority of the books in this entire store were self-help books. He reached the point of fully weeping, as he went on to say that the church was abandoning its duty to fulfill the great commission. With a broken heart he told us that the church had become a navel-gazing, helpless mass of individuals who are embracing a victim mentality with everything that life throws their way. He quoted our previous speaker, who spent a whole hour talking about the “Christian Ghetto” that the church had made for itself. A place where the church is wrapped up in its comforts and avoiding the rest of the world to focus on the “ministry”.
This is so SO true. But I disagree with it. Don’t worry, I’m not about to revoke my commitment to the great commission, but I do disagree with the idea that we should radically abandon our inward attentions to the church, after all, it’s only Biblical to focus on the church!
Somewhere down the line did we forget that half of the new testament consists of letters to church, building them up and encouraging the church in their faith by providing discipline and love? If they were written today, these letters would be put on the shelves of Barnes and Noble as the church’s “self-help”.
We’re charged to be the embodiment of Christ’s kingdom on earth. Imagine what it would look like, if all the people saved through missions found themselves a part of an unhealthy church. where the work of our *missions was prioritized over the family we are trying to bring people into!
When the flight attendants on a plane go over emergency procedures, they will always tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before saving the person next to you.
While making Christ known to the nations is the focus of the church (or at least should be) many people forget that above all else, Jesus is coming back for a bride! A mature bride after his own heart! The church is that bride!
Let’s focus on the church! It is not our responsibility to ensure anyone’s salvation (that’s the job of the Holy Spirit), but to be obedient to the one who’s coming back for us as His bride! Let’s facilitate healing for individuals! Let’s break the strongholds of the victim mentality that drive people into holing themselves up in the church! Let’s open ourselves up to Jesus’ healing and empowerment, so that we are able to expand our focus in the church AND those we’re trying to get into the church! Let’s build a healthy church, because out of that health, missions and evangelism will naturally flow!
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” Acts 2:46-47
Let’s make sure we’re letting Jesus bring people into a healthy family- a joyous bride.
Danyelle is an ambitious twenty year old living in southern California who wants to see all things turned to the glory of God. She is an aesthete, an academic, and a reckless adventurer.
Danyelle has a history of vocal performance during high school and college. In 2015 she took a hiatus from college to pursue an education in missions.
In 2016, she is re-focusing her vocal experience towards worship ministry and is re-starting her university studies in pursuit of a law degree with the purpose of aiding foreign missionaries.
See her posts here: Danyelle Madden