What Do We Want? – Nick

Something that has been gnawing on me the last couple of days…and I thought I’d share.

 

What do you want C3 to be?
No…seriously…what do you want C3 to be?
Maybe we don’t know what we want C3 to be. Maybe we don’t realize that Jesus has told us and shown us what we should want C3 to be. Maybe we don’t want C3 to be what Jesus wants C3 to be, that would be truly disappointing.

This question is not unimportant. This question determines everything. Because what we want determines what we will do. Do we want things to be comfortable? Then everything we do will be focused on comfort. Do we want to learn? Then what we do will be in pursuit of learning. But what do we REALLY want Countryside Christian Church to be?

I hope the answer is that you really want C3 to be a place where we see lost people encounter Jesus. I really hope that you want to see broken lives restored. I really hope that you want C3 to be a place where we get to see hurting people healed.

I wonder if we got what WE wanted…would we be satisfied? If our desire is that we be comfortable, would we be satisfied if we were the most comfortable church in Maryville? If our desire is to learn, would we be satisfied if we were the most educated church in Maryville?

Ultimately, the question we need to be asking is…what does God want from Countryside? What does God want C3 to be all about? God has called us to reach people. God wants us to “seek and save” the lost.

For lack of a better way of saying it, we are in the “people business.” We are in the business of helping people find Jesus. We have to know people to reach people. We can’t be in the business of making people happy at all costs. We can’t be in the business of making political statements. We can’t be in the business of entertaining those of us who are already part of the church. We just can’t. We have to reach outside of our four walls. But then we have to really ask ourselves. If God were to send a wave of people to Countryside who didn’t know Jesus or who were far from Jesus, would what we do here inspire them to want to know more about Jesus, or push them away from Jesus? We have to be constantly situationally aware of the people and the community around us.

When a missionary goes on the mission field, they must learn the language. When they go, they must understand the culture. They must assimilate into the culture. They must walk, talk, and act like the people that they are trying to minister to. Why, do we recognize that this is extremely important for missionaries to do, in order for their ministry to be fruitful. Yet we fight the culture around us, we blast the culture around us, we dare I say…hate…the culture that God has us firmly planted in at times. And anyone who engages the culture, and attempts to make inroads for the gospel of Jesus, is seen as someone who is watering down the message, or in the business of people pleasing. We should not aspire to be people pleasers….but we need to reach the world with the love and care of Jesus Christ. And we need to start with Maryville. We need to start with Maryville High School. We need to start with Eugene Field Elementary School. We need to start with St. Francis Hospital. We need to start with Kawasaki. We need to start with Northwest Missouri State University.

We have to examine EVERYTHING that we do as Christians. We have to examine every aspect of our Sunday morning or Saturday night services. We have to ask ourselves, is this a proclamation of the gospel of Jesus, or is this a cultural relic that we are holding onto because we are too afraid to ask the tough questions. Are our gatherings pulling people into a relationship with Christ, or are they confusing people with our lack of focus, our lack of urgency, and our lack of engagement? It’s time to put our lives on the line for the sake of Christ. It’s time to put aside EVERYTHING that we are clinging so tightly to, and re-focus on what makes us who we are.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the begotten of God the Father, the Only-begotten, that is of the essence of the Father.

God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten and not made; of the very same nature of the Father, by Whom all things came into being, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.

Who for us humanity and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate, was made human, was born perfectly of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit.

By whom He took body, soul, and mind, and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance.

He suffered, was crucified, was buried, rose again on the third day, ascended into heaven with the same body, [and] sat at the right hand of the Father.

He is to come with the same body and with the glory of the Father, to judge the living and the dead; of His kingdom there is no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, in the uncreated and the perfect; Who spoke through the Law, prophets, and Gospels; Who came down upon the Jordan, preached through the apostles, and lived in the saints.

We believe also in only One, Universal, Apostolic, Church; in one baptism in repentance, for the remission, and forgiveness of sins; and in the resurrection of the dead, in the everlasting judgement of souls and bodies, and the Kingdom of Heaven and in the everlasting life.

Everything else does not matter. If we are not seeking and saving lost people, we are not doing what God called us to do. So here’s my challenge. Find someone who doesn’t know Jesus, and bring them to church. Even if you don’t think there is any chance they will want anything to do with Jesus. We have to stop focusing on ourselves, on what we want, on what we desire the church look like. We have to sharpen our focus, we have to keep the main thing, the main thing.