We’ve been talking lately about the modern day church and why it is not the way it should be. One problem that I’ve lately been considering that I honestly hadn’t before this year is that the church is seen often as the place of evangelism. If you want to get someone saved, you get them to church.
Now if someone gets saved in church, as I did and as do several others, great. However, this is not the main purpose of the church. The purpose of the church is to build up and equip the saints so that they can go out with the gospel and be the ones to do the evangelism in the world outside of the church.
The problem is that this means the rest of us take our responsibility lightly. Why do I need to learn the fine points of the faith? The pastor knows that. Why do I need to know what the main point of Leviticus is? The pastor knows that. Give someone the gospel? Nah. Let’s just get them to church.
The problem is that you are called to do that. You are instructed to go out and make disciples. You do not see church invitations being given in the New Testament. In fact, when Paul talks about churches in 1 Cor. 14, the thought of someone coming in who is an unbeliever is seen as a “What if?” It’s not even seen as something common.
It’s also unfair on your pastor. Your pastor cannot take all the responsibility. I am in an apologetics ministry. I do enjoy what I do, but I also know it can be taxing when you are to answer every question and I do love it when I see other people being willing to learn how to answer those questions.
Your pastor should be glad to help you out, but what would probably please him the most would be if you learned how to help yourself out, and he’d be glad to get you started with some good teaching. If he isn’t, then you might want to consider finding yourself another pastor.
When we all take our responsibilities as Christians lightly, none of us win in the end. Church is a place for building up the saints and that is not done enough. Now I do know that unbelievers do come to church today so I always give an opportunity when I preach, but my main emphasis is not to the unbeliever. My main emphasis is to the believer. They are the ones here to be equipped.
We need sermons for believers today. We need them for people who need to know more of the truth. We also need them to go beyond just the applicational level. As I said in a Sunday School class, there is a lot more to the books of Joshua and Judges than just “obey God”, but for all you hear in a class today, you’d think that was it.
Such is a rant for another day. Today though, remember making disciples happens outside the church. Where? Go to the marketplace of ideas. Chat at work. Get on the internet. Talk to a classmate. Anything. You are to go out and make disciples. You are not to bring the people to you and then make them disciples.