The following is a powerful statement from Trevin Wax, former associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Shelbyville, TN.
All I can say after reading it is: “By George, I think he’s got it!” And I wish others would get it also.
In most churches, membership requires little more than a public declaration of faith and a quick trip through the baptistery. After meeting these requirements, members hear vague notions about being involved in stewardship, discipleship, and service.
Perhaps we are cheating church members.
We assume that most church members won’t evangelize, so we’re happy to stick with the very few who understand the mandate.
We assume that most church members will not get involved in a demanding Bible study, so we water down our teaching to appeal to the masses.
We assume that many church members will never tithe or give of their time in service to the community for the glory of our King, so we budget accordingly.
At best, we hope that people will act on our suggestions.
Our churches don’t know what they’re missing:
- The thrill of leading someone to Christ.
- The excitement of discovering God within the pages of his Word.
- The satisfaction of making an impact in the community in the name of Christ.
- The joy of giving cheerfully to the local church.
- The higher the demands, the higher the payoff.
Perhaps we should stop designing worship services, discipleship programs, and youth events for the “average Christian” (aka – the Christian we don’t expect anything out of). Instead, let’s refocus on our church covenants and clearly communicate the expectations for being a disciple in the kingdom of God.
We receive little because we expect little. And church leaders, church members, and especially a lost world – we all miss out because of our low expectations.