“For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.”
-Paul II Cor. 9:19-23
-As I mentioned before, this blog is about my reflections and my confessions as a young church planting pastor and subsequently as I type out some of these thoughts I get a eerily sick feeling in my gut like a guy that wants a steak but is served tofu. I know most people want to dwell on moments of folly or embarrassment, and it has been the providential hand of God that constantly saved me from myself. So go ahead and laugh, but know I wasn’t laughing at the time, although I laugh quite often today at myself.
I think back to a few months ago to a phone call I received late in the night from a church member telling me that her neighbor was getting abused and was relentlessly being beaten at that very moment. Like a brave but stupid cowboy that I am, I jumped in my truck and flew as fast as I could to go save the day. Upon arrival another neighbor had heard the batter and was standing in the driveway waiting for someone to do something as the screams where yelled from inside the house. I ran up to the door and starting banging on the door, as I opened the door a man with a gun and knife stood just inches from me, he threatened me and the woman. I grabbed the woman and rushed her out the door. I can’t really describe to you how it happened because honestly I don’t know how I got in the door to grab her and get her out without getting shot or stabbed. As the police arrived and the story started to come out I was asked by my church member “…are you ready to die, because doing stuff like that will get you killed.”
As I sit back now months removed from that night, I think how easily it would have been for me to have just waited for the police and just played it safe by staying in the driveway. I began to think about how it was smarter to do what the others were doing and staying in safe distance and just try to talk to the man thru the door…but that’s not what God was yelling into my ears. No I didn’t hear an audible voice, but you could’ve fooled me because I knew that I must go into that house and grab that woman. I don’t know if that woman would have been killed that night, all I know is that she lives today.
While many people might call the Apostle Paul someone that reached others by being “all things to all men,” I’m sure there was someone two thousand years ago that said he sold out. I’m sure someone said that Paul was compromising, that someone was picking a fight with Paul who was actually doing something for the kingdom.
I’m sure that Luther and Wycliffe were called liberals and we know that Moody and Spurgeon were considered evil teachers for their different practice and methods by some in their day. The point I am making is way too many play it safe…God did not call you to a salary or a retirement or a tradition, He called you to glorify God.
Today it’s not changed. In our Christian circles there is alot of talk. Lots to do about nothing. When Missions is just a church talking about sending missionaries oversees, instead of missions being going across the street and across the world! We must return to Jesus and do what He says, not what others say is the truth. When we fail to love the Lord, our culture and our church community cease to please God. We become museums instead of churches. We become stagnant places of old hymns or new songs with no life change.
Here are some truths that we must be about in our daily life:
- We must all be Missionaries!
- The Church must not be marginalized in our culture or community. We must be Relevant and Real!
- The Church is to love Jesus and serve His Mission.
- The Church grows by salvations, by converts, by real soulwinning…not people from other churches that get disgruntled.
- Community is the means for the church to counter culture with a new way to live. We do this at my church with small groups.
- Don’t play it safe…ask Daniel, David, Paul, Elijah, Joseph & Moses
In a continuously changing world where culture changes with each new tweet, we must never change the doctrine of the gospel, but new methods and new practices are good. Why is it that so many Baptist have to wait for the world to call something old and meaningless before they start using it? (flannel-graph, transparency projection slides & screens).
I’m tired of the world being ahead of the church when it comes to innovation, when it comes to new ideas and new methods! Stop playing it safe in your pews, your organs and your steeples…your people need Jesus not the other things. I’m not selling out, I’m not compromising, I’m not liberal…I’m Biblical.
Let the redeemed speak louder,