I remember a transformative moment in my life was sat in a nice comfortable Church listening to Joel Edwards speak at an Alpha launch, looking around at a Church full of people who appeared to be (mainly) already Christians.
It was that night that the Lord called me to plant Street Pastors in Salisbury.
Often I have been at Church events when they have put an awful lot of time, money and effort into a one day jamboree -but when you look past the fantastic photos on facebook there is no long term constant commitment or strategy to reach their community, and this just feels like ‘token gesture mission”, evangelistic efforts to appease our consciences.
Yet in a way I understand this, Rico Tice -the Evangelist at All Souls Langham Place- talks about pushing through the pain barrier, authentic mission is costly and requires sacrifice and is sometimes painful and difficult.
Sadly although scripture urges us to be “bold and courageous” sometimes we succumb to fear and cowardice.
Sadly too, within us all there is a temptation to avoid uncomfortable and the challenging.
Perhaps we fill our churches diaries up so to look busy and fruitful rather than venture outside our physical building and our invisible comfort zones?
Perhaps our own pride causes us to have the right rhetoric that talks the talk rather than the more costly path of walking the walk, especially when no one sees or appreciates our efforts except perhaps those who ridicule us.
When we are honest with God, and one another, admitting that at times we are scared, even admit that at times we procrastinate -and perhaps as Church we have a procrastination culture?- God delights in our integrity about owning our feelings, and wants to help us be brave and courageous as we step out in faithful obedience.
Our culture is pretty risk adverse and as human beings have a status quo bias that fears change, yet our God is greater than the world.
I have been in many meetings where we have been scared about the missional efforts we have agreed too, and seen how a small seed of faith and bravery can motivate a room full of people and rise us to our feet.
So, let our faith be bigger than our fears. Let’s cease doing activities for the sake of doing them, or because we have always done them. Don’t let the desire to ‘just do something’ be our motivation falling short of our vision of the Kingdom.
Instead, let us not only seek God’s vision for his mission in the context he has placed us in, and also the bravery and courage to heed his call obediently.