Brady Boyd, the pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs recently recalled a story about a self-proclaimed atheist. Apparently a journalist was interviewing the unbeliever when he posed a hypothetical question. He asked him what he would say to God if he ever met him. The atheist reacted by saying that since he did not believe in God, the question was irrelevant. The journalist persisted with the same question. The man finally said that he would ask God this question, “Why were you so hard to find?”
I pondered on that question for some time. It dawned on me that the very question that the atheist asked was the answer to the “mission” of the church. We have been called to make God easy to find! The church is referred to as the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14-16). We are challenged to not hide this light under a bushel, but rather live life in such a way that those walking in darkness can find their way! We are the “sent” ones.
Leadership conducted a survey in May 2008 asking nearly 700 evangelical pastors how their perceptions of the gospel and mission currently compare with their understanding a decade ago. Here are some of the results:
- Pastors are focusing more on the Gospels than on the Epistles.
- More pastors believe the gospel is advanced by demonstration and not simply proclamation.
- More pastors say the goal of evangelism is to grow “the” church rather than to grow “my” church.
- More pastors believe partnering with other local churches is essential to accomplishing their mission.
Bill Hybels of Willow Creek recently stated that quality programming and numerical growth did not guarantee spiritual depth and often lead to the burnout of its pastors. Many of us have been immersed in important structural and governing transitions within our own movement. There will be people with different titles and responsibilities.
This season of engaging alignment with structure and integration with mission is critical, but more important that the titles are the testimonies. More important than the structure is the Spirit. More important than the method is the Message. Join with Pastor Jack, Jonathan, me and a host of other ministers within The Foursquare Church, let’s make God easy to find.