I travel around to a lot of different churches trying to inspire people to walk the way of Jesus by getting involved in what Jesus is doing in the world.
I have discovered that most believers are longing for their churches to be more like the Book of Acts. They long for God to move in power. They want to see miracles. They want to be part of and experience a life-changing movement that looks like what happened in that original, early church.
They want traction.
The desire is exciting! Yet the challenge is the gap between that desire and the apparent reality. How like the early church–at least in America–is today’s church? Does God just move differently now? Does he move differently here? What is going on?
These questions drive me.
Steve claims that today the West has adopted a knowing-based definition of spiritual maturity, as opposed to the New Testament Church who had an action-based definition. He elaborates by saying that people who knew very little did a lot and consequently grew a powerful disciple-making movement that influenced history more than any other prior or since.
Why is traction so hard?
This is in stark contrast to today’s American church that seems to know much about this exciting past but, with few exceptions, isn’t seeing the same kind of fruit. When I heard Steve speak, he was pretty direct with this punch to our gut: The American church knows a lot but does very little.
Could this be why our churches struggle to have real traction in making a difference in the world?
I think Steve is on to something.
Personally, I see all kinds of gaps in my own life between what I know and what I do. I often choose the path of inactivity when God’s mission is clearly visible right in front of me. I know that in my spiritual life I often fail to act even though I clearly know what I need to do! How much time have I spent studying and debating Scripture, when I could have been living it instead? Is it possible for my life to be the teacher? The witness?
Corporately, believers together–churches–need to ask similar questions about the gaps that exist between their knowledge and their actions so that they can discover and release the power of God in greater ways throughout their immediate community and the world.
God wants to give us what we say we want!
I believe our faithful, steadfast, loving Father is patiently waiting for his church today to rise up! When will we choose to actively engage in his mission? God’s desire is to give us the “more like Acts movement” that we say we want!
Are you ready to put your faith in to practice?
Get some traction. Please join me for our Missional Church Culture Webinar on Wednesday, May 17th. I’ll see you then!
Q Place National Church Partnership Director