What follows is by Barry Sneed – Executive Vice President at NavPress, a ministry committed solely to the purpose of making disciples.
For years now, while traveling back and forth across our nation, I have recorded the messages I’ve seen posted on marquees in front of churches. I have pictures of and folders full of notes I’ve taken of these signs. Their often-profound statements are serious, funny, weird, different, thought-provoking, inviting, ostracizing, and more.
Recently, however, I saw one that made me stop dead in my tracks. I made my way around the block and pulled into the church parking lot. There, on the sign, which was surrounded by knee-deep grass and trash:
What could have happened? Where did all the people go?
Consider this: For decades thousands of churches across the country have invested extraordinary amounts of money, time, and energy on getting people’s attention and getting them into the church building. As a matter of fact, if you drive by churches this coming weekend, you will find some packed because of such efforts. You might also see others that barely have anyone in attendance. In an effort to get people in the front door, is anybody watching the back door?
Could it be that so much effort and energy gets focused on concepts and gimmicks that the one imperative given to the church in Matthew 28:19-20 gets lost like a sign in tall grass?
We have to make disciples. That’s the imperative! Church is a journey, not a destination, doing life-on-life living next door to everywhere.