We are a nation of disobedient Christians. We say we follow Christ, but we do not. We don’t get up every day and say to our Lord, “Whatever you want me to do; wherever you want me to go; whoever you call me to love. You are God; I am not. You are boss; I am not. You are Master; I am slave. Where you send me, I will go. What you say, I will do.”
Willow Creek Community Church surveyed more than a quarter million people in a thousand congregations. This is one of the things they found: “Mature believers serve the church, help the underresourced, evangelize, and tithe more than other Christians. However, high percentages of them are still surprisingly inactive.”
This is how they defined “inactive”: Eighty percent say they loved God more than anything. However, a third of those don’t serve the church in any way, and half have not served the poor in the last month. Sixty percent rarely witness. Eighty percent rarely invite someone to church. Forty percent do not tithe. Remember, these are the percentages for those who said they do “love God more than anything.”
This doesn’t apply to all of us, of course. You may have picked up this book precisely because you have a long history of obedience. The basic direction of your life, for a long time, has been to do what God tells you to do. You have tasted and discovered that God is good. You have picked up this book with the prayer that God would show any wicked way in you.
I have logged over two million lifetime miles on American Airlines alone, teaching churches how to grow. I teach a method of doubling a group every two years or less by inviting every member and every prospect to every fellowship every month. It works when you work it. I have a nagging conviction, though, that this is not the problem.
The problem is not that we need a better method, better programs, or a new model. The issue is one of simple obedience. In my seminar, I point out a simple fact of math. A group of 10 that doubled every 18 months would reach a thousand people for God in 10 years. We can do it by inviting every member and every prospect to every fellowship every month.
Rarely do I have people say to me that they don’t think it will work. They don’t say to me that they don’t think it is strategic or a reasonable plan. They don’t argue that it is not biblical—there are lots of verses on hospitality. Here is what I have heard them say to me:
• We are comfortable the way we are
• We just don’t want to do that
• We are not willing to do that
Josh Hunt. Obedience.
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