Ready or Not

Yesterday I posted a quote on my Twitter/FB that garnered some interesting responses. Here’s the quote:

“If we ever get Christianity right, we will have more tax gatherers and sinners around us than religious people.”

One responder posed the question: “Are churched people ready for them?” This sparked my thinking about what do we mean by “ready.” Here’s my thought on this. Feel free to chime in. I would love to have some serious discussion because of its relevance to the mission of the church.

I’m not sure that we will ever be “ready.”

As a Pastor, I’ve heard and even used phrases like “we are getting ready” to do…. or “we are positioning ourselves for……” While I undersand the concept behind it, I have to wonder if being in constant preparation mode hinders us from actually doing something. I’ve preached and blogged many times about the Mission of the church not being optional and how important it is that we keep that mission at the forefront of everything we do.

The reality is, Jesus sent out his early followers whether they were truly ready or not. The opportunities for touching lives presented themselves, and they acted accordingly. Maybe if we capitalized on all of our opportunities with a “ready or not” attitude, we would see greater results. What would have happened if Peter and John had passed by the man at the Beautiful gate in Acts 3 because they didn’t think they were ready?  They trusted the Holy Spirit within them to empower them for the task. 

As it relates to us being “ready” for the unchurched, maybe we are asking the wrong question.  Maybe we should be asking “are they ready for us?”  With “such as we have” we should give – ready or not.

What say you?

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7 Responses to Ready or Not

  1. Tracy says:

    A women in her ninth month of a pregnancy is ready to see the fruits of her labor so to speak. There is an end to the preparation. When that women is over due even by just a few days and the preparation is prolonged, stress and anxiety are more prevelant than anticipation and excitement. When plans for outreach and ministry are made then cancelled or postponed, for whatever reason (good or bad), the anticipation and excitement that help keep people engaged dissipates. This group needs to feel like they are part of something bigger, give them the authority to plan and lead outreach activities in the community. For many of them they are just starting to discover what area of ministry they are passionate about. It’s the passion that will keep them serving God and not just warming a pew.

  2. I love the concept you’re expressing here. From a bible perspective, I don’t see a prolonged “preparation” period before the early believers felt “ready” to handle new people. They were so excited about what Jesus had done for them they wanted to tell everyone. We don’t have to be seminary trained theologians, or sit in church for ten years before we can touch the lost, hurting,or dying people of this world. We just have to get out and do it. I think if we did more touching lives and less worrying about whether or not we are “ready,” we would be much more excited and passionate about our Christianity. And yes, I am convicting myself with this post…

  3. I love the idea being presented here. When I read the Bible I don’t see the church spending tons of time on preparation. They just went out and shared the good news. They didn’t need to be seminary trained theologians, or spend years in the synagogue or church before they shared what Christ was doing. They just did it. I think that if we did more touching of lives, of sharing Christ with the lost, suffering and dying, we would find ourselves more exited and more passionate about our Christianity than we’ve ever been. Look at that…I’ve gone and convicted myself…

  4. kenrow says:

    John 1:28, in today’s times: “The woman then left her waterpot, and enrolled in a membership 101 class.”

  5. kenrow says:

    John 4:28, as practiced today: “The woman was wont to leave her waterpot and go her way into the city, but the disciples compelled her to first enroll in Membership 101.”

  6. Buck says:

    Is church a meeting or a movement? Is church an institution or a revolution? Is church a group of people that share rapport, or is church a group of people that share revival?

    What would happen if the church were “ready” to embrace the Biblical idea of church (Acts 2-7)? What happens in our homes, communities, cities? What would happen if the church were “ready” for the tax gathers and sinners of our culture?

    Would the crime rate drop? Would divorce rates decrease? Would men and women in this town begin to call upon the name of the Lord? Would people be transformed, hope restored, and lives’ changed?

    In the Old Testament, God created a nation (a group of people) that would glorify and magnify Him to the nations, so that they would turn from false god’s and be reconciled and redeemed to the one true God through the coming Messiah.

    In the New Testament God created the church (a group of people) that would glorify and magnify Him to the nations, so that they would turn from false gods and be reconciled and redeemed to the one true God through Jesus Christ.

    So in the Bible God is always bringing together a group of people that would glorify and magnify Him to the world, so that the world would come to know and follow God. But, America is all about individuals, isolated and taking care of themselves. America is about me having the opportunity to make something of myself.

    So when we marry the two together (the Bible and America) we get this: I come to Christ for me. I come to church for me and my family. What does “church” do for me? Did I like the service today? Were my needs met today at church?

    If this is the reality of “church” then, the church is not ready for the “tax gatherers and sinners”. We have to be able to see beyond our own needs in order to see the needs of others. God is involved in something so much bigger than me as an individual. It is about us together proclaiming “Excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light”.

    Americans for so long have heard the church talk, but have they ever seen us love one another in such a way that we become the temple of God, and display and declare by our actions that He has brought us out of darkness in to His marvelous light.

    The church is plural. The church is a team. We (together) have a collective purpose. We have to work together and display His attributes. It has always been this way. For the church. And for Israel.

    My question would be is the church “ready” for that?

    Just my 2 cents. Probably all ts worth.

  7. kenrow says:

    Sorry about the double post. WordPress accepted comment and info, but then asked me to log in and it never gave any feedback as to whether or not my original comment was saved.

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