The purpose of the church is to reach those who are far from Christ and to help them become true disciples. The hope is for them to become mature Christians who impact their community and even the world for the glory of God. If that is our goal and desire, we need to find ways to be more effective. The current Covid-19 crisis and the “stay at home” order by the government have made it more complicated but not impossible. I wonder if we have missed the point in recent years, and this a time for reflection and genuine change. Change not just in methodology but the clarity of church purpose and mission.
Think about this verse in light of our current reality:
Mark 6:34 Amplified Bible (AMP)
When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd [waiting], and He was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd [lacking guidance]; and He began to teach them many things.
This is a time to reflect and act upon some of the things that may have fallen through the cracks.
As pastors and church leaders, we can get caught in a cycle of sermon prep, vision casting, fundraising, and more. While all these are good and needed, maybe what we really need to do is get back to shepherding.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I know as pastors, we care for those whom God has entrusted to us. I also know that we can get so bogged down in the day to day that we don’t let them know how much we really care.
My prayer is that we would get back to the task at hand – making disciples.
You see, I believe that discipleship isn’t so much about the head knowledge but a combination of learning and action. When we shepherd the flock, we are showing God’s love authentically. When we shepherd those God has placed in our life, we are modeling the great commandment (loving God and people) and joining it with the great commission (making disciples and teaching them all He commanded).
While none of us have all the answers, I do believe that we can make a difference even in these trying times. We are only limited by our own imagination and creativity. I think that we – the capital C Church, have an opportunity to speak into the lives of those who are concerned with death and give them hope.