I Don’t Want to Be a Drive-by Disciple
A few years ago, I was a busy pastor driving to the church 2-3 or 4, OK 5-6 nights a week for meetings, events, or to open the door and micro manage others meetings and events, when God opened my eyes to something. All of a sudden I noticed people out in their yards, coming home from work, and some even waving at me. Then I started noticing homes that were substandard and people walking on the side of the road and people living alone w/o relationships. God opened my eyes to the fact that I was DRIVING BY the needs of my neighborhood and community to get to my busy schedule of ALL GOOD and MOSTLY necessary church activities. I had essentially become the Levite and Priest in the story of the Good Samaritan, passing by the beat up guy with mega needs for the sake of my busy schedule and the opinions of others. I realized that I had become a DRIVE-BY DISCIPLE. I repented and ask God to help me live life on mission beyond my church’s calendar and property lines.
Matthew 9:36 says that Jesus “SAW the crowds.” Can you see those around you? Their needs? Their lifestyles? Their value to God? Their potential through Christ? In my area, when I looked around I saw 76-90% that are not attending church more than once per month if at all (96% not attending SBC churches). And the number that I’m driving by on my way to church is increasing every year. I see a growing number w/o hope leading to an ever increasing suicide attempt rate and people who are daily recognizing their pursuit of pleasure and ease is a facade. I began to see widows and elderly with no one to take care of their simple household issues. I began to see the multi-housing facilities and parks that takes me a few seconds to DRIVE-BY, but house 30o-500 lives in need of the Gospel.
In Matthew 10:5, Jesus responded to what he saw by SENDING his disciples on mission. He’s done the same today. WE ARE sent not to church, but into the world to give, to love, to share, to serve. Being a member of a church is an important part of life on mission, but it must not be a substitute for responding to and serving the needs around us as disciples, individually and corporately.
Every time there’s a 5th Sunday in a month, our church takes a Sunday – Faith In Action Sunday – to take care of needs we’ve been DRIVING BY for three months. It’s an intentional way for us to encourage life ON MISSION FOR OTHERS and take our message to the world beyond the church walls.
Join us for Faith in Action Sunday in 2012 – January 29th (more info and project list here), April 28th-29th, July 29th, and September 30th. Better yet, open your eyes to the needs around you. Look around as you drive to church this weekend. See the crowds, have compassion, realize that if you’re a disciple Jesus has sent you to this place for this time.
This Faith In Action Sunday we’ll be taking care of a few elderly widows needs, throwing a block party for inmate families at our local jail, painting a house in a neighborhood that’s undergoing revitalization, and more.
Here’s a great list of dozens of ways to be On Mission in your neighborhood, workplace, or community.