Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
A few days ago I was in Costco. So much variety, so many choices and best of all, the experience is all about me. Your membership card entitles you to enjoy the experience and to expect to be served. In most stores
there is a suggestion box where you can let the management know what products you would prefer and, within reason, the staff attempts to accommodate your desires. Tragically it sounds a little like the North
American evangelical church.
The church is called to be radical disciples for Jesus, willing to risk it all to reach the nations; but often it is more like Costco – goods and services for members only! The profound unrelenting truth of the Gospel is that the church actually exists for non-members.
Recently, I sat on the edge of my seat listening to one of our young leaders who serves in a country hostile to the Gospel. He spoke about sharing his faith with boldness and unbridled passion. He would walk down the street and simply ask the Holy Spirit to guide him into spiritual conversations.
On one occasion he and a friend entered into a small sandwich shop PACKED with people. They engaged in a conversation around Jesus Christ and the Gospel. People asked questions and in the middle of the conversation a younger fellow said, “If what they’re saying is true, our whole religion would be done! No one would be left following it. I mean, if Jesus was a saviour, I would drop everything and go after him.”
As the conversation wound down, one man gave an over arching generalization, “We have different faiths, but that’s ok. You guys are trying to be good and do nice things, and so are we. The important thing is that
we follow whatever faith and try to be good.”
Then a grizzly old bus driver stood up and commanded the attention of the room: “No! You guys aren’t listening! He’s saying that Jesus actually DIED … he took all of this man’s sins and then rose again! Now he’s forgiven and can live at peace with God. This is something totally different!”
It was a startling moment which left everyone in the coffee shop with much to think about.
As this young, Spirit-filled modern day apostle conveyed his passion for these people, I felt a deep challenge within my own heart. He was living out a radical call to disciple the nations. His message was compelling and
prophetic, an inspiring call to abandon it all for the cause of Christ. He was challenging the Ecclesiastical Costco mentality with a willingness to give to God his whole life to reach the nations for Christ.
David Pratt in his book, “Follow Me”, writes; “In the church I pastor,we continually refer to what we call the ‘blank cheque’ . . . As followers of Christ, we have given him a a‘blank cheque’ with our lives, meaning that we are his to spend for the spread of the Gospel in the world. Our time is his, our money is his, our families are his, and our future is his. No string sattached. We want to go wherever he leads, give whatever he requires and obey whatever he commands.”
Throughout our history, the Alliance has been a ‘blank cheque” kind of people, refusing to succumb to the ecclesiastical Costco mentality. We have been willing to abandon it all and take whatever risks are necessary
to reach the unreached peoples of the world.
Forgive us, God, where we have lost our way and receive our lives as a blank cheque—an offering to you to reach the nations!
Let Costco be Costco and the Church the Church, ON MISSION—Everyone, Everywhere, All the time!
“God give us the spirit of Scriptural faith, personal consecration and true self-sacrifice, and then He can give us the world for Christ.” — A.B. Simpson
Please find the original version in C&MA website