God did not establish the church to be a gathering of like-minded people rallying to “make a difference.” In other words, the church is not a voluntary organization where people can choose to participate where they want to, or invest in the things they deem to have a great ROI [Return On Investment].
The Scriptures never talk in those terms about our involvement or investment. Never. Never ever.
On account of our individualistic society, in America we think of churches as voluntary associations of autonomous individuals. Individuals come together as a church, IF THEY WANT, and DO WHAT THEY WANT. But Jesus says repeatedly something distinctly different from this “do-your-own-thing individualism and investment.”
Jesus says, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” [John 13:8]
We only participate by God’s undeserved kindness.
Jesus says, “You did not choose me but I chose you.” [John 15:16] We don’t choose to participate. He allows us to. There’s extreme grace in that reality!
And why did He choose us? For what purpose do we participate?
Jesus says, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the
commands I have given you.” [Matthew 28:19-20]
All of our participation in its various forms, allow us to make and teach disciples.
And all of our participation in its various forms, allow us to discover our own stories as disciples.
That is perhaps the greatest discovery waiting for you in 2015.