Question – Is the church called to minister to its people (members) or to the people in the community who are FAR from God?
It is so easy to focus on the people God has put together in one church that we can lose sight on the real mission of The Gospel. To see ALL people hear the gospel and come to the saving knowledge of Christ. How do we get the message out to ALL people if we are constantly focused on the people who are already “saved”? Can we achieve a balance that is healthy for the believing members, and for those FAR from Christ?
Does the church have an obligation to be IN the community in such a way that doesn’t look “churchy”, but still brings the gospel to the people? The good news that Jesus is enough, HE alone is worthy of our lives, and our trust? The hope that comes in the form of a suffering servant God who didn’t just stay in heaven and demand things of us, rather humbled himself coming into our situation, on our terms, and creating a way for you, me, and everyone we know to be reconciled to the creator of the universe! That’s good news everyone should hear!
I realize that people in any community of faith need to be taken care of, ministered to by the leaders called to lead them… but I would argue they need more discipleship than continuous care. The Leaders in a faith community do their best work when they remind people that regardless of our current spiritual relationship with God… we were all outsiders once!!! As someone who used to be on the outside looking in… I never want to forget what it was like to BE an outsider. So I vow to focus on outsiders as much, or more than I focus on the insiders of my faith community! What we fail to realize as a community of Christ followers is, if we focus on the insiders… outsiders will have no place, and they will always feel like outsiders, never wanting to join our community; But if we focus on outsiders as well as insiders… people who are FAR from God will begin to realize that Churches and communities of faith are not for insiders, but they are specifically for ALL outsiders who were once FAR from God, and now because of Jesus we have been made close to Him!
How do we as a community of Christ followers spend the time needed to disciple others, while simultaneously reaching out to a community of hurting people who need to know the hope of a savior, Jesus!
We Are The Outsiders!