Arthur Brisband, a newspaper editor said or wrote the words first in 1911; “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”
If that’s true then the picture I just received attached to an email is priceless.
These three young twenty-something women just moved into the Austin neighborhood of Chicago to live and serve alongside their neighbors and work with Pastor Nate and Melissa at C1's sister church, Church On The Block. Man, do I love COTB!
These three are intelligent, articulate, and educated young adults. There are few cities in America where this crew couldn’t secure a career and a 401k. I am humbled at their commitment and marvel at their passion. It isn’t comfortable, it isn’t easy, it isn’t hip, it isn’t the safest place, and it isn’t the place where they’ll earn the most money.
A move like this doesn’t happen because these leaders think they have the answers to the problems at the new address. No Messiah complex here. It happens because they see beauty and potential in a neighborhood others have given up on.
Jesus is a lot like that. He saw beauty where ugly was the order of the day. But where sin abounded, His grace abounded more and He moved. He took up residence. He shifted from comfortable to cross.
He not only sacrificed His life, but He has called on countless others to sacrifice theirs just to get the Gospel to you and I.
In an age where most North American congregations seem focused inward, singing the perpetual hymn; "What about me?", this photo is a refreshing picture of evangelism.
Evangelism has always required movement. What’s your next move? Maybe it’s not a shift in location God is calling you to, but a shift in mindset. The move you need to make might not require a change of address, but if it requires a change of heart, are you up for it?
What about a change of schedule? How about sliding down the pew so the guest doesn’t have to climb over you? Maybe parking farther away from the front door? Volunteering, perhaps? How about investing? (oops, started meddling.)
When the church stops moving, she stops fulfilling her mission.
Please, spare me the, “We shouldn’t sacrifice the Gospel just to reach lost people!” argument. (I mention this because someone always says it whenever a call for evangelism is made.)
Of course we shouldn’t.
Who said we were?
The truth is that a refusal to reach out effectively in evangelism and fulfill our mandate to "make disciples" is, in effect, sacrificing the Gospel on the altar of our own sacred cows.
The question I have to ask myself is; “How much more important than lost people finding Christ is my comfort zone?”
Ouch! That hurt me and I wrote it.
Sometimes I think the itchiest ears on the planet are the churchiest.
God help me to be faithful to the call of Christ and the sacrifices of the called who have gone before and are all around me.
Leaders like Hope, Lauren, and Laurita, make me confident about the future of the church.
May I be faithful to their example.