Sow, Serve, and Be

Sow, Serve, and Be

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

Steve Ridgell, Director of Ministries for Hope For Life, says in a recent blog that many churches say they want to grow, but in reality would rather mark time with a “staying alive” kind of ministry. Instead of actual growth, many churches are more concerned with how to maintain the membership they already have.
Steve says that many churches want his opinion on how to grow, but don’t like his answer. Somehow, it seems to simplistic. But he gives his answer anyway. He frames it this way.
Make disciples. Add new births (spiritually). Sell out for evangelism. Change lives. Serve in the name of Jesus. Share your faith. Grow.
But what I often hear leads me to believe many of these churches do not really want Kingdom growth. They want church growth. Or at least “stay even” numbers, because they say things like this: “Of course we need to be evangelistic, but what about our young people? How do we keep them from leaving? Our young families are not involved. Should we look at changing our worship style? Should we use women in our public assemblies?
Sometimes it is like seeing cracks in the foundation of the house and listening to a discussion about if someone ought to try a different color of paint on the outside.

This is Jay again. Of course, Steve is correct. Nothing is ever said in the Bible about growing the church by changing the worship style, using or not using women in the assemblies, having a youth ministry program, or involving families. But a lot is said (and there are many examples as well) about making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We get so caught up in the things that don’t really matter, when it comes to evangelism. Evangelism isn’t lights and smoke machines. It isn’t candles and liturgy. Nor is it 144 inch LCD screens and stage plays. Those things may or may not be appropriate in a worship service, but they are NOT evangelism.
Evangelism is teaching that sin leads to a broken relationship with God, and that Jesus fixes that relationship…makes it unbroken again. Evangelism is outside the building instead of inside. Evangelism is serving instead of being served. Evangelism is real churches with real people serving a real God.
I am convinced, as is Steve Ridgell, that if we get the message right and start spreading it around, some will positively respond. But regardless whether anyone responds or not, we are called to sow the seed. We are called to serve. We are called to be salt and light. And that calling is present tense…we are called to these as long as it is now. And since it is always “now” in our lives, we are called to continually sow, serve, and be.
That is the message of the Gospel.

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