Be the Church: Make the Gospel the Priority
This is the conclusion of the "Be the Church" series. I felt like it was appropriate to end things with this verse from Acts 20:24 "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace." In order to be the church, we need to make the Gospel the priority. In the early church, everything was set up and designed to make it easier for the gospel message of God's love to go out. This was the purpose of administration. In Acts 6, we see that seven men were chosen to take care of the details, so that more attention could be paid to prayer and getting the message out. Am I the only one that's noticed that many times the procedures and policies we set in place are often more of a hindrance than they are a help? Oftentimes, we create a bunch of red tape and hoops we need to jump through before we can start making a difference. We need to use discernment. It is important to have structure and to use wisdom in our approach. However, if there are aspects of our administration that are more burdensome than helpful, it's time to make adjustments.
The bottom line is sometimes things are only effective for a season. What worked in the past isn't necessarily what's going to work today. What worked with one group of people won't necessarily work with the next group. What worked in one place won't necessarily work in another. There's a learning curve involved. It's trial and error. But we would be foolish to hold so tightly to a particular way of doing things, just because it's the way it has always been done.
Again I just love that verse referenced at the start of this post..."I consider my life worth nothing to me, my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord has given me." All that matters in this equation is God's love and sharing that love with others. My pride doesn't matter. My reputation doesn't matter. My traditions don't matter. It's not about a competition or about saving face or about being in control or about looking like I have all the answers all of the time. It is about Him.
We need to be willing to change, to bend and to flex to more effectively share the one message that never changes. And that's the message of this familiar verse:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall never perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
Let's start being the church. Let's go to the broken with the message of God's love. Let's make room for the outcasts, the hurting and those that don't look like us. As we go, let's be led by the Spirit and let's go with one heart and one mind. And in everything we do, let's make the Gospel our priority.