“The time for talking is now over”.
These words came from my friend Michael Eden who was the Salvation Army Captain in Kingswood, and I think most of us realized he was speaking prophetically.
We were launching that evening Kingswood Street Pastors, a team of us who would go out into the community on a Friday night from 12:00 midnight until 4:00 am, and share our faith, pray for people, bless, listen, care for and help them.
What he meant was that for too long we as Church have talked, and talked and talked and not actually done anything. Talking in no substitute for action. I was at a leadership team meeting when someone once said in a defensive protest “we have talked about this a lot” and I felt like saying “true, but you haven’t DONE anything”.
In the House of Commons there is a disgusting practice called “fillabuster” where a ‘wind-bag MP’ talks out a debate so that time runs out and the motion can’t be passed. Yet sometimes it feels like the Church can be “fillabusting with their lives”.
I am so frustrated at times with Churches, and other ministers, and I realize I am possibly being judgmental, but it feels like everyone talks a good game of mission, and yet barely anyone actually appears to be doing very much.
People used to joke that those who talk about sex most probably are the ones having it the least, I wonder if the same is true for mission and outreach, whether people talk about mission a lot but the question is ‘are you actually doing it?’
We’ve talked a good game, let’s put out money where our mouths are.
Are we all mouth and no trousers!
The world has stopped listened to us because we might be great at talking the talk, but sadly there has been too little walking the walk.
The excuses come easily, but reveal the disconnect that often exists between rhetoric and our real ‘cold light of day’ priorities.
There is an old adage which says “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say you will do”.
Following Jesus is not saying the right things, words are cheap, but actions speak louder.
Interestingly, we had the Pastor from Reading come down to speak to us ABOUT mission we had 95 Church leaders show up and yet when we came to DO mission just 6 of us showed up.
Churchill talked about “Jaw Jaw -diplomacy- (being better than) War, War” but I think the opposite is true for the Church too much “Jaw, Jaw and not enough fighting those spiritual battles and doing that which we are supposed to do”.
So, let us stop just talking, lets back up our words with action.
Let’s end the conversation among ourselves and leap into what God has called you too.