By: Donnie Petty
Many times, Christians find themselves going through the motions of going to church, raising their hands when the music moves them, listening to a good sermon, hugging some friends and leaving. As they slip into their cars and exit the parking lot, there’s a disconnect. They forget to share the wisdom and love they’ve just received with the hurting, dying world around them. When did communing with God and His people become a ritual instead of a relationship? When did we get so caught up in going to church that we forgot to be the Church?
While a follower of Christ today proudly uses the term “Christian” to describe himself, Jesus used a different word to describe such a person –– “disciple.” A disciple takes following to a new level. A disciple’s belief is shown through action.
“Saying you’re a Christian is more about what you believe. Saying you’re a disciple is more about what you do.” –– Pastor Donnie
Jesus said in John 13:34 (NIV), “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so love one another.”
It is only when we focus on being disciples of Christ that the practice of our Christian faith has meaning. What good are we to the world if we don’t go out into the world to lead it to the source of eternal and abundant life?
So, now that we’ve decided to be a disciple as opposed to a casual follower, how do we become a “show-ers” instead of “go-ers?”
“When people spend time with you, are they leaving spiritually hungry, or are you feeding them the bread of life?” –– Pastor Donnie
Jesus lived in such a way that people, whether they knew they were in search of God or not, encountered the Father when they interacted with Him.
A disciple should make it his goal to say like He said in John 5:30 (NIV), “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.”
As we grow in sensitivity go God’s voice, it will become easier, through the leading of His Holy Spirit, to discern what word or action is needed in a specific moment. All we need are compassionate hearts and willingness to do what He says.
“Jesus didn’t come to establish four walls, some stained glass and a steeple. He came for a relationship.” –– Pastor Donnie
While being involved in a local church is an important act of obedience to God that allows us to connect with fellow believers and gain a deeper understanding of Him through sound teaching, church–“the location”, is not all there is. It is more important that we be carriers of that same atmosphere of love and faith into our spheres of influence. Once we become the Church and demonstrate Jesus’ love to the people we encounter at work, school or the gym, we will become ”show-ers” and not just “go-ers.”