“Hey, I got a great idea…what if we got our church involved in an outreach program that helps people overcome ___________?” [A question that could be asked of any church leader on any given Sunday.]
“We can’t do that!” [an answer that could be heard in any given church on any given Sunday after the above question was made].
What images castagate in your mind when you think of hearing those words in a church building? What is the reasoning for the word can’t in this context? I am often reminded of what I believe Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can, or, if you think you can’t…you’re right!” I also think of what my GrandFather-in-law once said, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than try and get permission.”
I have read many of the thoughts by people much wiser than this small town french fry in Podunk, Nowhere, USA. It appears that there are a few who live with sincere evangelistic hearts who dwell in and among the many that live in a controlled world of a few. Those few who attempt to control are to be respected as ones who will have to some day give an answer. That’s an awesome responsibility! But, what if God asks, “What did you do to proclaim my glory and my kingdom?” What is the answer? “Well God, I made sure the building was pristine, the pulpit was used, worship services started on time, and that the smokers and drinkers of the community were not allowed to defile the building when some guy wanted to start some sort of help for those types of people” It would appear that leaders of the church on earth need to do some better following, but, that is my opinion from an observation of peoples persepectives.
What bothers me is that excuses are given in addition to the “we can’t”. Or, we can’t really means we won’t! Welcome to the Church of the Status Quo. We can’t because….(insert excuse here). I tend not to try and listen to them, kind of a “talk to the hand” situation. Circumstances are just that, circumstances. To try and use that circumstance as an excuse is deadening. Why not thank God for your circumstance? We have an extremely rural church. One of our elders drives around 90 miles one way to make it. Now, we could blame our circumstances that very few people live in town, or, we could thank God for all the territory we cover. It’s all a matter of perspective. Please don’t give up hope, but instead enjoy your suffering, which leads to persevearance, which leads to hope.
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Don’t let your church become the status quo. Provide the hope. Lead by following!