I was asked this question this past week….. And it hits me pretty hard, "Why isn’t the church mission minded anymore?"
First of all, we need to figure out what the church's mission is? What is, or should be, the church's goal? (I'm obviously talking about the big church here, not your individual church.) What is supposed to be our goal, as Christian leaders?
I think that's why a lot of churches are plateauing or dropping in attendance. Why? People don't have a concise goal to work towards. Churches, in general, have a tendency to leave Christ out of their plan making.
What does Christ want our goal to be? What is His desire for His church? Wait a second, I thought it was my church? Problemo numero uno, senor. Anytime we treat the church or its resources like they belong to a man, and not God, we fail.
James 1:26-27 "Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world." (MSG)
James 1:26-27 "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (KJV)
I could sit here all day and explain those two verses to you. But as I tweeted yesterday, "There are two types of Christians. Those that live out James 1:27 and hypocrites." That may seem like a harsh statement, but that's the way it is. Pure and undefiled religion is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted by the world. It doesn't get much straighter than that. I wish I could give you a "Get out of Jail Free" card that said you don't have to hold yourself to the standard of James 1:27. I wish I could give myself one of those cards. But that's the way it is. There is no other option.
And now you know…..
“I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God."