Church Planting Lesson #31: No One and Everyone

Over the limited years I have had as a pastor/planter, I have learned that there are two kinds of CHRISTIANS that come to, and sometimes through, a church. They both have very different expectations coming into a church family and, as a result, both have very different experiences.

One comes in expecting to get everything and plans to give nothing.  They reach out to no one. They connect with no one. They talk with no one. They fellowship with no one. They learn with no one. They pray with no one. They give (nothing) to no one. They serve no one. They sacrifice for no one.  In the end, they have helped no one and no one knows them.  Then, in their time of need, no one shows up, and they judge everyone.

The other comes in expecting nothing but plans to give everything. The reach out to everyone. They connect with everyone. They talk with everyone. They fellowship with everyone. They learn with everyone. They pray with everyone. They give (everything) to everyone. They serve everyone. They sacrifice for everyone.  In the end, they have helped everyone and everyone knows them. Then in their time of need, everyone shows up, and they judge no one who didn’t.

We must fight the temptation to look around to find someone who is like this, and look inward to see if we are the one.  Essentially, we are talking about the love for “one another” that Jesus talked about–the tangible love that is supposed to characterize his followers.  Though I addressed this blog to Christians, I wonder if one is in fact not a believer at all.  Consider that one is self-centered and one is Christ-centered. One has a mind of their own, and the other has a mind of Christ. One hates the church, one loves the church because Jesus does. One looks at the church to judge the weak or missing parts of they body, while the other looks at the church to understand what part of the body Jesus made them to be. One tends to remain in a church long-term, develop deep roots, and real Jesus centered-relationships to help face any problem.  The other tends to go from church to church dissatisfied, refusing to make new friends, and ultimately blind to the real problem–their own heart.

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Author: Sam Ford

Sam Ford is a preacher, planter, and pastor from the Pacific Northwest. He is currently pastoring Restoration Road Church in Snohomish, WA.

1 thought on “Church Planting Lesson #31: No One and Everyone”

  1. Hi Sam,
    I have seen both types of folks you have desribed, I think there is also a third type, or maybe just an offshoot of the first.
    What you just wrote about has been in my thoughts and in my wife’s thought as well for I guess the last couple of months. Mostly I have been thinking about what true grace is ( I have that part figured out, I think) and how we demonstrate it, how we live out the grace and gospel that our Lord Jesus gives us. I think there are alot of “Christians” that delude themselves and in esseence may not be Christians at all! for one simple fact. They have not allowed and I think in a some instances rebelled against God changing their heart, they see themselves as more important than the creator of the whole universe , our Lord, God. . God is a creator and cultivator, if we are not modeling that behavior and only consuming for just ourselves, well…. I’m not a studied man on these matters, but it seems to me that in order to be a disciple of Jesus we have to give and be willing to give everything to him. Our lives are not our own anymore. By the very definition of our relationship with Christ as our LORD, God will do with us as He will’s, for His kingdom, for His plan, for His Glory! My worry or concern, (for myself really), (I dont want to fall in the trap of judging my brothers commitment to Christ, BTW, really bad trap.) My worry is on the luke warm Christian, those folks that confess to follow Christ and live lives like the following. Come on Jesus! follow me on my adventures in my life. I’ll pull you out of my pocket when I need you, these folks only tend to give anything, only if they are convicted, often times this turns into a guilty feeling, they don’t look for opportunitys to advance God’s kingdom and name. This scares me and the ramifications that wait for us if this is our belief are really, really, really scarey for all eternity. I’ve been reading and studying Matthew, where Jesus is asking the crowd, if they actually understand and know what it will take to follow him, what it will cost. where it will lead them, maybe to the very ends of the earth even, maybe nailed on the cross, ending in their pain wracked death. I don’t think at this point in my walk that there can be true grace and a true relationship with God the Father, Jesus our saviour and the Holy Spirit without a physical change in a man, going from i and me centric thoughts to how do I obey God. how do I live to bring glory to God, how do I live my life for others as Jesus did, how do we live the Gospel as God desires. We should move from the idea of how do you serve me and what I want to, How do I serve you and accomplish what God wants. I think some men never have this heart change. That makes me very sad.
    I would hate to get to the end of my time and have Jesus compare me to salt that had no flavour or to the Church in Ephesis (sp?) as written in Revelations. I just don’t want to be spit out of his mouth and be told that “I never, knew you, depart from me evil doer.” Here is what I do pray for at the end of my mortal life. “You have been a good and faithful servant, you have defended the gospel, you have ran a good race. It’s time to come home, we’ve been waiting for you.”

    God’s Grace and Glory every day.

    Like

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