Are We Plugged In?

Acts 19

Are we as a church plugged into our community?  Are we plugged into the people of our community? Into people’s lives? Let me ask you this … if Fitzhugh Baptist Church (or your church if you don’t have the good fortune to worship with us) ceased to exist, how would the community be impacted?  Would it have a negative impact or a positive one?  I’ve heard the saying that all people bring joy … some by coming some by leaving.  Would the community be better off if we weren’t around?  I pray that is not the case. 

So we must ask ourselves, “What are we going to do to make sure that we are positively impacting our community?" At Fitzhugh Baptist Church, my vision is to be:
A church that is aflame with life, that is engaging our community, and is seeing people come to know, serve, and love Jesus Christ!

Unfortunately, that is not the case for all churches.  In fact, we see churches all around us that are struggling for life. Realistically, they bring it on themselves.  I would call these churches "navel-gazers." Navel-gazers simply stand around picking lent out of their navels, sitting inside their ornate buildings, not reaching outside of their walls to their community, and they wonder why nobody is coming to their church.

We can no longer operate on the presumption that “if we build it they will come!”  The church was never established to occupy buildings; it was established to “Go! and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!”  You can’t do that from inside a building.  These “navel-gazers” are built more around “morality” than they are mission.  Since they act like sin is something you might catch if you aren’t careful, their mission is to erect walls to hide behind and to guard their “purity.”   Life is a little less “messy” that way so they feel clean and safe in their fortress. 

Jesus saw ministry a little differently than they do.  He understood the way to reach people was to go to where they were!  In fact, when he said, ”Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” he didn’t mean I will wait for you in the church house.  Rather, much of His ministry was out amongst the sinners and tax collectors reaching His hand out to touch and change their lives.  He got his hands dirty with ministry.  In fact, in Matthew 12, Jesus is healing and preaching among the people when his mother and brothers came to speak to him.  This was His reply in verses 48-50, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”  Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.””

We must engage people like the Lord did and work hard proclaiming and preaching the gospel to those in and around our community.  I hate to tell you this but if you are used to “building walls of isolation” and protecting yourself from sin, you will find out quickly that being on mission for God and reaching out to your community will be a little messy.  But when you see people come to know the Lord you will forget the difficulties and will rejoice to the heavens. 

In Him,
Pastor Boyd

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