It is a sobering observation over many years of participating in and observing churches within the evangelical ambit that we are largely ignored by our community. Not totally, but largely ignored. So what am I to make of this?
Firstly, I think it indicates something of the malaise in society. There is a place in their midst where words of life are preached; there is a place where they can find out about a better life, with a better purpose through a better Saviour. And people do not want to know. there is a hardness to the ways of God around. This is particularly manifest among the indigenous white community. There is a palpable and very alarming lack of interest.
Secondly, I fear it indicates that we are not being pro-active enough in encountering our communities with the gospel. The Lord Jesus told us to go into all the world. He says in Matthew 28a says “….go and make disciples of all nations…..”. Instead of going I fear we have so easily either defaulted into either of the following:
- a siege mentality whereby we have withdrawn from the world in a despairing fashion. We have concluded that people will not be saved and we will just bunker down for the duration. In doing so we have just set ourselves to continue without any great anticipation that there will be gospel progress other than among those, like our children, who are already among us.
- a “they come to us” mentality. Instead of going to the world we have waited for them to come to us. And generally they don’t come.
So we are largely ignored and we need this to be reversed. What do we need to do:
- Let us pray that we would have a vision of seeing our communities reached for our Lord. We must pray that we might have a burden for our neighbours and their eternal welfare. Seeking the Lord that we might be zealous to see Him glorified. This will only come through being in the presence of the Lord.
- Let us act. Let us go in the strength of our Lord as He would lead. But we must think more about engaging.
- Let us use the giftings among us. We need to see these released for service for the Lord from the church into our community. In particular we should be yearning for and using evangelistic giftings.
- Let us be bold. We need the spirit I wrote about yesterday (see here) of boldness for our Lord.