Chruch Tag

Mission-Blues-Brothers

When it comes to “Fellowship”, I don’t need that to do American church. I don’t need fellowship to attend church on Sunday, to gather in a building with a bunch of people, face forward and hear some guy deliver a well-rehearsed message maybe or not about God, and go home, I can do that on my own.

I don’t need fellowship to just be a fan of Jesus, be a Sunday Christian, to live everyday just like the rest of the world, live for the same things as them, advance my career, make more money, get a bigger house, newer car, talk about politics, sports, and the kids soccer games. I can do that on my own, that’s easy.

But to stay on mission every day, I need people because I’m going to get distracted, I need co-labors in the mission to run the race with, I need prayer, encouragement in the work of the Lord. to run the race, preach the gospel to all the nations in the midst of persecution. To partake in the suffering of Christ, to die to self and life for Christ. For that, I need the fellowship of co-labors.

Fellowship does not begin with let’s have fellowship or let’s do community, where do you see that in the book of Acts, did Paul, Peter every say let’s get together and have fellowship? No, it begins with let’s follow Jesus, let go and make disciples. Let’s Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation, let’s partake in the sufferings of Christ, let’s run the race to win. That’s where you start.

If I just read the Scriptures, I wouldn’t even think so much about the gathering, Sunday church. You know – my first thought wouldn’t be, “Let’s have a gathering.” or “let’s get together and have fellowship”. Out of the Scriptures, I would think, “I’m on a mission” and I am to partner with others on that same mission.

When I read what Jesus has done for me, read His words, especially His last words to us in Matthew 28, how can my life response be anything other than I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and now I’ve got to go out and tell others about Jesus, and make disciples That’s what I would think, I need to go out there and just reach as many people as I can! I’m supposed to teach them to obey everything that Jesus commanded

That’s what I would get out of scripture, that I need to go out and start making disciples and to gather with people who are doing the same thing, partners in the gospel. This is what I am after.

And that pressure to always stay on that mission, to keep following Jesus, because the world and everyone in it would be beating me down, trying to stop me, I would actually need these brothers and sisters, co-laborers in my life. And I would tell them, don’t let me stop or even slow down, and I won’t let you slow down, we’ve got to stay on this mission together, that’s what we are here for.

So you see I Don’t Need Fellowship (to quote my co-laborer in Christ Francis Chan), or a fellowship group, a community group, to do American Church, But I do need those who are following Christ, living for the mission. to help me live on mission, to join with me in fulfilling the great commission as we call it, to take on the world preaching the gospel and making disciples. I need to gather with those who have “partnered in the gospel from the first day until now”, who are “co-workers in the gospel of Christ”. I need fellowship with those “who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together”, so that I might “run with endurance the race that is set before me”, to fight the good fight, and finish the race set before me. That kind of fellowship I do need.

A friends church home group gathering was having a BBQ for his birthday, I attend and did the Barbecuing for them. The Lord has been teaching me this week is about being a follower of Jesus, and the church and His teaching really took on flesh at this gathering.

The top topics of the night where, sports, politics, work, children and grandchildren, but never was Jesus even mentioned that I ever heard. If anyone did while I was not near them it was brief, quickly mentioned and on the something else if they did.

Is that’s what followers of Jesus look like when they get together? Seriously? Is that what it looks like when people have died to themselves and live for Christ get together? What do they talk about?

When I was part of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, whenever I meet up with another follower of Jesus, whether it was at a church gathering, someone’s house, a restaurant, or running into each other on the street. 80 to 90% of our conversation was about Jesus, the word of God and the mission. Always.

When I look at scripture, read what the life of a follower of Jesus, what the church is to look like, then look how those who claim to be Christians are like, including me, they don’t match up.

When I walk into a church home group, or any home of someone who claims to be a Christian, and Jesus is not the main topic on everyone’s minds, conversations. If the mission and their part in it is not the hot topic. Something wrong with that, very wrong.

So there I was at a gathering of people who claim to be followers of Jesus, who claim they live for Christ, and yet when together they do not talk about Jesus, the word of God, Jesus did not dominate their conversations.

And I asked myself, are these are followers of Jesus? Seriously? Followers of Jesus? The same Jesus who said, you want to go bury the dead, for get you! That Jesus? The same Jesus who said you want to say goodbye to your family, you cannot be my disciple! The same Jesus that said the birds have nest, the fox’s have no holes, and I have no place to sleep, do you still want to follow me? That Jesus?

The Jesus that said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple! Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple! That Jesus.

The same Jesus that said the purpose of our life is to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

That Jesus?

Are you telling me that people who claim that Jesus is their God, their Lord, their King, that they are willing to die for, be stoned to death for. Be nailed to a cross and die a slow painful death for. Yet when they gather with others who claim the same thing, that same Jesus does not consume their conversations? Does not so consume their life, who they are, that Jesus does not dominate their conversations?

Really, that’s what followers of Jesus look like?

Does that make sense to you?

It’s not that I’m not that I am judging them, it is more like a fear, like a concern, that it has become acceptable in America for Jesus not to be the center of our fellowship, dominate our conversations when we gather. Again, it’s not judging, it’s just I’m deeply concerned at what I see.

I burn to talk about Jesus, talk about the mission, hear what Jesus said that day, week to others, hear about their labor that day, week to preach the gospel and make disciples. Talk about what Jesus has done, about who He is, about His coming soon.

I’m no longer willing to settle for gathering with people who claim to be followers of Jesus and not have Jesus and the mission dominate our conversations. I don’t just want it like it was like in my old days at Calvary Chapel, I want even more than we had then, I want, what I read in scripture, I want to open the book of Acts and say, Wow, we are living this.

This is what God has been showing me in last few days.