In a recent leadership conference, I heard Andy Stanley say that established churches tend to gravitate inwardly rather than outwardly. I believe he is correct. Whether those members gravitate toward a past pastor, a present program, or a past era that they treasure, there is a gravitation toward safety, security, and comfort.
I wish to humbly submit that we need churches to defy gravity. Shall we not be a body who desire to reach those who are unreached? To minister unto those who most need ministering? Rescue those who need rescuing? Win those whose souls need winning?
David Sills said once, “The last command of Jesus must be the first priority of the church” –that last command being Matthew 28:19-20, also known as the Great Commission. We are to go and make disciples! This is not the path of least resistance–but sadly in many churches it is the path of most resistance. We risk wishing to simply have our own souls and own needs taken care of–but we shudder at the thought of getting involved with anyone else’s souls or anyone else’s needs.
In the notion that we are to have a ‘personal relationship with Christ,’ we stick to the wrong word–the personal. It is merely a “Jesus-and-me” mentality. All that matters is our relationship with Christ–yet the majority of evangelical Christians in America never share that Christ with any other!
“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” May we defy gravity by looking upward and outward, and moving in that same direction. In that way, we will most be able to help serve our churches and help them thrive in the name of our Lord Jesus.