Do you even know your own neighbors name? Perhaps we as pastors have lost sight on what it looks like to “be the Church” in our own neighborhood. Across the country there is approximately around 300,000 churches in the U.S. 200,000 of those churches are either stagnant or in decline. About 3 to 4 people nationwide go to church at least twice a month. How will we reach those 6 to 7 people not going to church? Odds are this is not going to change based off of how we as the American church have been doing things. We are probably not going to get anymore people into church by hosting events, a camp, a retreat, or inviting people to a building with a steeple atop of it. What I am proposing is that you have already been sent by God.
I believe that God is awakening the flames of “sentness” in his people, he is wakening a movement across his people in this country to remember the story that is in our heart. We are not a gathering people, we are a sent out people. Perhaps we have forgotten that at the heart of our story we are propelled, launched out, people of God to those people who will often never walk into a church building.
Often the invitations we give the people in the pews is to come to an event a the church and that serves as our equipping for evangelism and missions. Perhaps it is up to us to raise people in our churches to realize their opportunities already in front of them every single day. In all of our efforts to get a passport and cross the oceans to reach people, maybe God is just asking us to cross the street, to hop over to the cubical next to us.
This is how it works, in the 18th century John Wesley was kicked out of every church in England for preaching a message of grace. His famous line as he stomps his foot, “The world is my parish, I am going out into the streets to preach to the people.” We no longer need a boarding pass to encounter someone who doesn’t believe, talk, dress, look, eat like us. These people are right here in our mists. I believe just as Jesus said to his disciples he says to us, “You have already been sent. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” he is sending you, all of you. You have already been sent, with all of your doubts, fears, everything you believe you do not bring to the table. God has said you are the kingdom agent for that neighborhood, workplace, park, or gym.
There is no junior sized Holy Spirit in us! I believe God is awakening something Leighton within his people to reactivate movement, the missions of God, which is to heal and put together the world again. He has given that mission to every single one of us not just people on stage with microphones. Every single one of us. If you put Jesus in the center of your life, you have been given the invitation by God to put the world back together again. Stop waiting for this license. May we stop waiting for this permission, stop waiting for an invitation because you have already been sent.
It’s your move.
Jeremiah Aja; founder of Forge Sacramento
To learn more about Jeremiah who are making a difference in their communities check out Convergence.World