Why Not?

Why Not?

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

Steve Timmis has written a book called, “I Wish Jesus Hadn’t Said That.” In the book, he gives ten sayings of Jesus and explains what they mean, and why many wish Jesus had never said those words. The last saying he talks about is, “Go, and make disciples of all nations…” In his concluding remarks of that chapter, he talks about the role of the church in obedience to the commands, and particularly the Matthew 28 command. I will reprint several paragraphs of what he has written below, in italics.
Following (Jesus’) death and resurrection, it was his intention to claim the nations. But it would be achieved as his disciples went out to make more disciples. And that meant new churches, communities of light scattered among the darkness of the nations. These communities would be the nurseries for disciples, and the light world shine brighter and brighter as they learned together what it meant to be disciples—obeying all that the Lord had commanded, including the command to make disciples.
But I am wondering if this is why I wish Jesus hadn’t said this particular thing. Perhaps my problem, and maybe yours too, is the issue of church. There is a dynamic about this command. It’s full of verbs or doing words: go, disciple, baptize, teach. Each one has the potential to energize and envision. But then it seems as though church is integral to them all, and that’s where the energy evaporates. For many of us, church is so formal and static, and has all the agility of an oil tanker in dock. It’s where disciples are more likely to fall into a coma than be developed and dispatched.

Timmis goes on.
But even if our experience (with church) is negative, don’t allow that to be your controlling paradigm. Don’t just look at what is and ask why; look at what isn’t and ask why not. Commit to being a disciple and to discipling others. Work hard among the people who comprise your church to encourage and “gospel” them.
This is Jay again. We are ready and quick to bemoan the sameness and routine of “going to church.” We are easily distracted in services by an unkempt appearance, crying baby, or too many new songs. We long for the “old days” when church was, supposedly, more like it was supposed to be. We often ask why and criticize, but never offer an alternative or, if one is offered, it’s an alternative that satisfies us and doesn’t take into account the other worshippers.
Perhaps it’s time we took to heart what Bobby Kennedy said, quoting George Barnard Shaw. Maybe we need to ask, “Why not?” instead of bemoaning things as they are and asking, “Why?” Perhaps we need a change of heart, mind, and soul. Perhaps we need the Spirit of the Living God to move within us in ways that we have never allowed before.

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