One of the big challenges of our day is to make believers understand that the very right of existence of the Church, is defined by the great commission Christ gave to her:
Go and disciple all the nations and teach them everything I taught you! This is always an awesome task and a responsibility the Church can never run away from, for it is for this very reason that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church of Christ.
Acts.1: 8 is quite clear: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses to the end of the earth.
A congregation that claims to be part of the baptism of the Church by the Spirit on that very first Pentecost Sunday and thus claims to be part of the Body of Christ – and do not disciple the unchurched nor witness to the unbeliever, has a lot of explaining to do why it should be considered an instrument of the almighty Lord and therefore claim His graceful blessings.
If we then measure our efficiency and obedience to the Head and King of the Church also in terms of the Great Commandment, to love God more than anything else and other people as much as ourselves – how many Churches can still claim to be part of God’s most critical strategy in a lost world?
This is a great challenge to us who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ. And I find the most challenging and probably the most critically important of all, to also practically involve the young generation with the Church and help them to be excited about God’s strategic role for his Church in saving the lost, involving the unchurched and inspiring bored listeners through the sound teaching and preaching of the Word in our congregations.
It is often said that the majority of 18+ young people who went through our Sunday Schools and Confirmation Classes stop being active in God’s work and worship.
Is it not because we failed to make them grasp the exciting truth that they are able to, with excellence, to bring the outsider, the unbeliever and the unchurched into the flock of the only Good Shepherd still to be found in our world today?
Youngsters enjoy an exciting challenge – particularly one with an achievable outcome and a great spiritual reward. And when they learn that this outcome is guaranteed by the truth that Godself brings the outsiders back to him, and that he wants to “co-lab” with us in this calling, how can they continue to be bystanders in the work of Christ’s Kingdom.
Let’s excite rather than blame - and make sure that we approach this work, which defines the true Church of God, as an inter-generational adventure with the Lord Jesus as the Captain of the team and One who already won the battle.