After getting the “Big Rocks” of the gospel into the jar (in the illustration of trying to get rocks, stones, pebbles, sand and water into the jar) then you go for the next largest sized rocks. It’s a priority thing. So what comes next?
Another way to put it is this: In our lives, if by God’s grace you are a believer that Jesus did this for you, then you will join Him in heaven one day. What then should we do between Jesus first coming and His second, and between our being saved by grace and our entering heaven? Should we kill time? If God so loved the world that He would send His only Son Jesus, then that mission to save the world through Jesus is God’s BIG ROCK. Now doesn’t it make sense that if that mission of God put Jesus on earth for our salvation and if Jesus said before He left that our mission (as His disciples) is to “go and make disciples” (Mt 28:19), then doesn’t it make sense that this will also be a huge priority for us and for our churches? God’s mission was: Send Jesus to save the world. Jesus’ last words: (as my disciples) go make disciples, which means saving the world is still His priority. Our priority then? Our next big rock? We respond to the good news of our salvation by making disciples!
Ok that’s fine, you say, but we do that. You already do that? As a church? As an individual believer? What is the evidence? How does your church measure that it is making disciples? The Word of God is proclaimed and the sacraments are celebrated according to their institution. All good. Who is being touched by this Word and Sacrament? Believers. When was the last time your church celebrated a baptism of an adult? A child? When was the last time you had a visitor? For many churches even this is a rare thing. Ok, perhaps the kinder question is to look at your church’s calendar. What events in the last month, year, intentionally engaged people who were far from God’s Word? How much of your budget it directed toward such efforts?
If you are like a lot of churches the schedule is filled with Christians doing things with other Christians (sure newcomers are welcome) in classes and out-tings without paying much if any attention to out-comes…like making disciples.
Now what about as an individual believer? How important is sharing Christ for you? Do you wake up every morning expecting God to direct your paths to those far from Christ? Are you eager for those encounters, looking for them and looking for God to show up and give you the words to speak as He promises? Or are you after your own agenda? Those agenda items may be downright personal and even selfish: money, position, power, etc but it also may be deceptively personal. That is, churchy things that are also your “own agenda”! You may list worship and Bible class and fellowship events and even service activities on your list, but for their own sake and not for the deeper purpose of God’s mission!
Have we forgotten to put in God’s BIG ROCK? Sadly that is often the case. Along the way we have sometimes naively assumed that because we do church that we are about God’s mission. Deep down though, we know the truth. Even though we may get the Gospel right, we have forgotten to be about our Father’s business. Doing church doesn’t automatically mean that we are following Jesus co-mission to make disciples.
- How are you as a church going to put in God’s BIG ROCK?
- How are you as an individual going to put in God’s BIG ROCK?
- How are you going to evaluate and measure the out-come of your church’s activities and actions - when measured against God’s BIG ROCK?
- How are you going to evaluate and measure the out-come of you day - when measured against God’s BIG ROCK?
It will take courage but God loves you, forgives you and empowers you for tomorrow!
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Scott Gress is called by Lutheran Counseling Services and partners with the FL-GA District of the Lutheran Church as an independent contractor. He specializes in Leadership Training, Consulting, Coaching and Coach Training. Contact Scott to continue the conversation or experience a free sample coaching session. 561-542-4472, firstname.lastname@example.org or scottgress.com
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