“Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.”1 Thessalonians 5:14 NLT
As believers we are called to reach the lost and then teach them as disciples. The purpose for this is that they then become witnesses and go out and make more disciples. Somewhere in the last 40-59 years it has become more about reaching people and having them eat at the party, over and over again. We have become a church who are self contained and our outward thinking is lost. If someone stumbles into the church and receives Jesus, that’s awesome, but generally we don’t invite others to our social club.
Mind you not every believer or every church is like that. There has been an awakening in the last ten years to break out of this cycle. But when churches want to change, or the elders and pastor decide it is time to wake up the church, not all the people get on board. Some may give the change lip service, excited and even encouraging, but when it comes time for boots to hit the ground the leadership looks around to find a small group really has his back in the mission. How do we change a ingrained habit that has infected our church for so long? I call this habit apathy, Paul called it lazy, when we believe Jesus’s or the Holy Spirit will draw them in, that he will do all the work and we just need to keep the doors open and they will come.
I have come to understand that these people just don’t know what it means to share their faith, myself included. I ask God, even last night, why we are so timid in our faith we truly have nothing to fear in our western society. We don’t live in an environment of religious oppression, fearing for our lives, families, even reputation. Our fear is rejection, pride, even that the person we are talking to may make us question what we believe. We fear no bodily harm, not yet anyways, so how can we get past the mental stigma of rejection?
I believe as a church we need a renewed passion for our faith. That begins in the heart of every believer, this is true revival. Then we need leaders to step up and start making disciples, this is new Christians, older Christians, to push them to grow nad share their faith. We can’t force anyone to share their faith. It must be a desire of their heart. We pray for major heart surgery for all believers, implanting a passion for the lost, as they are loved by God. He wants to have a relationship with them.
So believer are you ready to allow God to restart the passion in your heart? Pray for it, read your bible, when you go to church go expecting to hear from God, excited to be at church with the family of believers, not worried about the time, but pressing in. Step out and share your faith with someone. Then let us know as sharing our stories encourages others.
Jesus, wake us up. Renew a passion for the lost in our hearts. For to long we have been loving apathetic lifestyles. It is time for a change. If we we need teachers give us teachers, if we need to be leaders give us the tools. Open doors to witness your love to those around us. So us insights that can only come from you. Let us see others as you see them, remind us that you love them all and we need to love them too. Amen