Nothing worthwhile happens in ministry outside of relationships. Christianity is all about relationships. Service is about people. Ministry is about people. The church is God’s family. A strong sense of belonging, acceptance, and friendship is critical if a community of faith is to be a real community.
But if we’re not careful it’s easy to so turn inward and invest all or most of our time and resources on insiders. Recently I heard an illustration about the church being a bus. Inside the bus people must learn to love and serve one another and get along peacefully and thoughtfully. It’s really awesome when you get to experience true unity with God’s people. That can happen with the bus sitting still. It doesn’t have to go anywhere! But there’s more to God’s plan than a bunch of happy people sitting on a bus, singing Kumbaya. There’s a mission to accomplish. There are souls to be saved and lives to be changed.
The Great Commission must always be a major part of our vision and motivation. An exclusive focus on relationships within the church can take your “leadership eyes” off of the heart of Jesus. Remember that it was Jesus who said, “For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
So what about your life, ministry, and church? Are you so focused on existing believers that you have no time to think about, pray about, and do something about those who don’t know Christ?
If this question nails you, here’s some follow up advice:
- List some of the evidence that shows you have allowed the needs of “insiders” to crowd out the Great Commission:
- How can you begin to establish a more healthy balance between fellowship and mission?
- Are you modeling the importance of connecting with outsiders?
- What can you do to elevate the importance of reaching out to the lost?