Being prepared is not simply for the Boy Scouts—it’s the mark of a believer. Few of us know how our weeks will shape up. On Monday evenings, I usually sit at the kitchen table with a legal pad and my calendar and I work to plan my week.
Part of the reason why many Christians struggle to share their faith is the unknown. In church life, we gravitate toward the tangible, the measurable, what we can see, what we can fix. That’s why, I believe, many churches can get bogged down in administrative stuff that deals with buildings, budgets, and bodies (that is, attendance). You can measure those things. You can build and refurbish and renovate and you can see the results. When you put together a budget, you can tell whether you are meeting it or not. You can tell when savings are down or not. You can tell when attendance is down or not.
Anything that seems to increase these things is inherently good, any decrease is inherently bad.
Yet people are not simply widgets, all alike, all having the same personalities, all going through the same chapter, all through the same issues. Every person that walks into this place has a story, a background, and journey they have traveled. People are more than numbers, the church is more than a building, spiritual stability does not come with a substantial savings account.
The passage I read to you at the beginning was the last paragraph. The words ‘execution,’ ‘persecution,’ ‘lamentation,’ ‘ravaging the church,’ be dragged off to prison—some of you may be saying, “Pastor, if you’re trying to sell me on this Jesus guy and this Christianity stuff, these words will not work.” But I want to deal honestly with you—following Jesus is absolutely worth it, no matter what comes our way. But we must be prepared to deal with people where they are as they are, no matter. Why? Because God is at work to get all of us where we need to be. Following Jesus and telling someone about Jesus is about being prepared.
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