Monday, February 1, 2010

Stay Outward Focused

From Ed Stetzer comes this challenge to all of us, whatever of the Christian tribe(s) we call home, to be more outward focused.
"So, my Reformed friends, let's not only read 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John (that is, John Calvin, John MacArthur, and John Piper), let's go plant some more churches. My emerging church friends, let's take a pause from the theological rethink and head into the neighborhood and to tell someone about Jesus. My missional friends, let's speak of justice, but always tell others how God can be both 'just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.' My house church friends, let's have community, but let's be sure it is focused on redemption. My Baptist friends, let's focus more on convincing pagans than Presbyterians. And, my charismatic friends, let's focus less on getting existing believers to speak in tongues and more on using our tongue to tell others about Jesus.

Now, I know the preceding paragraph will tick some of you off--and, I am trying to be a bit edgy while making a point. But, let me suggest you be less offended at my words and more focused on Jesus' words: Go therefore and make disciples of nations.

If you are passionate about what you believe you will naturally want others to 'get it' as you have. For example, you would not be a very good charismatic if you did not want me to be baptized in the Spirit. However, I think it is unhelpful that so many Reformed, emerging, missional, denominational, Baptist, house church, charismatic, and every other kind of Christian spends more energy persuading other believers than they do reaching non-believers."
Well, I haven't read any of the "Johns'" but do fall somewhat in the Reformed tribe. I also fit in the charismatic camp, and grew up and was educated in the Baptist denomination. I've even been in a house church, and I've read some of the emerging books. And I think he is right- Our true call is to bring people to Jesus, not to just shuffle people around among our tribes.

Hat Tip: Vitamin Z