A kid joins the youth choir in church when he hates to sing. Why?
Because the only kids the youth minister pays attention to are those in his choir.
Someone goes on a mission trip when he doesn’t have any interest in going. Why?
Because the pastor proclaims to the church that they need to go on a mission trip. He treats those that go on mission trips as the special ones in the church.
A seminary student considers foreign missions when he has never had any inclination before in his life. Why?
Because his pastor thinks those that do the most valuable work for Christ are on the mission field.
A lady is asked to take on about four jobs in church. She is told that if she doesn’t do it, no one else will. She says yes. Why?
Because she is afraid of the looks of disapproval if she doesn’t.
What are all of these examples of?
Christian peer pressure.
We all know it happens. The problem is that most of us have given in to it at one time or another.
So, how do we deal with it?
Just learn to say no.
Don’t want to go on the mission trip? No.
Don’t want to sing in the choir? No.
Don’t want to take on that extra task? No.
Just say no.
Pursue the Lord with all you have. Do what you want. Say no to everything else.
Have you ever had to deal with Christian peer pressure? How did you deal with it?
Have you ever thought about whether your church thinks globally? I don’t mean whether or not your church gives money to international missions like my Southern Baptist church does. We give a certain amount of our money to what we call the Cooperative Program that supports missions. We take up an offering called the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that supports international missions. At Easter, it’s the Annie Armstrong to support North American missions.
But back to the original question: Does your church think globally?
Does your church do more than take up money? Does your church send mission teams out locally? Does your church send teams out regionally? Nationally? Internationally? For me, thinking globally is being outwardly focused? Is your church outwardly focused?
Or is it focused solely on what’s going on within the four walls? Is it focused on what’s happening on Sunday and Wednesday?
Please don’t tell me that people are doing things to help out, but are being so “spiritual” that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I’m talking about our churches being proactive and intentional in going out into their communities, regions, states, nations or the world.
I believe that churches who are truly following Christ are thinking globally? They are focused on what’s going on outside the four walls. Sundays and Wednesdays are time to worship and “fuel up” together for doing just that.
So, back to the question
Is your church thinking globally?
I haven’t read the book Radical yet. It’s on my reading list and I expect that I won’t like it. Why? Because I expect that I will not be able to read it and remain comfortable. However, I have an idea of what is going on in the book after reading an interview with the author, David Platt. Follow this link and see what you think.
What this interview made me wonder is what are we are doing in our churches. I’m not talking about my church. Or your church. Or someone else’s church. I’m talking about all of our churches. I talk to a lot of people who go to church. I’m always interested in what is going on. I come away wondering how many of us are playing games and how many churches are just really doing nothing to build God’s kingdom and Christ’s church (a small disclaimer: He is doing the work, I’m just a tool). What are we doing in our churches?
Here is what Platt’s church is doing. Other churches are picking up on it and adapting it to their situation and their community. It is really simple, which is one of the things that is attractive about it. Here is what Pastor Platt is leading his church to do:
- Pray for the world
- Read through the Bible
- Sacrifice money for a specific purpose
- Spend time in another context.
- Commit their lives to a multiplying community
Some may scoff at this and say that is what their church should be doing anyway. I agree. But then why aren’t most of our churches doing these things? That is perhaps the topic for another post. But imagine if our churches were doing these things: Spending time in prayer and the word of God, giving money to help others, spending time in other areas, and building a growing community.
There is one common denominator in all five of these areas that Platt’s church is focusing. They are looking outward rather than inward. They are focusing on others and not themselves.
Folks, does that hit you as hard as it hits me? What should churches be doing? Why aren’t churches doing it? Stay tuned for part two.