Sometimes I like to read Dave Black’s blog posts. Sometimes I don’t. I haven’t decided how I feel about one of his latest entries (Today, Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.):
I realize that many of my readers are committed to following Jesus and His model for the church, yet we seem to get bogged down in the practical application of biblical truth. What would happen if we went back to square one? What if we recalibrated our thinking so that The Cause of Causes (the Gospel) became the main passion of our lives? If and when we put Jesus first â€“ being His hands and feet in the world, offering even our enemies a warm embrace in His name, being willing to engage in Dangerous Discipleship â€“ don’t you think that everything else in terms of church reformation would fall into place? The real problem in our churches is not that we are mired down in traditions. The real tragedy is that we have gotten our eyes off of the world for whom Jesus died. For instance, if we really believed that there are over one billion lost souls in this world who have never even heard about Jesus, then we would automatically begin rethinking how we spent the Lord’s money. Do we really need those Sunday School curriculum booklets? The answer is “Yes” if we put our church first. The answer may well be “No” if we consider the needs of the world. Calibrating our church budgets in light of the mandate to evangelize the whole world takes the focus off of ourselves and our comfort and spotlights the crying and dying needs of others. Moreover, a missional focus takes our eyes off of “our” kind â€“ our churches, our denominations, our missionary programs â€“ and unleashes holy havoc across the world as we intentionally adopt a cooperative model of serving King Jesus and building His kingdom of love.
Yeah I know, none of this is news to you. But that’s part of the problem. We so easily forget first things and make second things first things. So let’s rethink our church structures and priorities, not because someone tells us to, not because “the denomination says so,” but because Jesus calls us to radical, scandalous love for the nations! Praise God for the work He is doing in the hearts of His people in North America who are beginning to reach outside of themselves in order to make disciples of the nations. Think about it. When the church acted like this in the days of Acts, the entire culture was changed. The Holy Spirit is a pyro at heart and wants to set us ablaze with the Gospel wherever we go in this world. May God raise up a new generation of passionate and compassionate Jesus followers in our generation. And wherever we go and whatever we do, may we preach The Cause of Causes and its Savior more than we preach anything or anyone else.
I mean, he’s absolutely right. I’m not struggling with this because I disagree with it (mentally), but because I’m not living it.