We can fill our lives and our churches with good things requiring our resources and good activities demanding our attention that are not ultimately best for the enjoyment of the gospel in our churches and the spread of the gospel in our communities.
We must be willing to sacrifice good things in the church in order to experience the great things of God.
~ DAVID PLATT, Radical Together
Sometimes you know something, but you need to hear it said anyway.
Yesterday I heard what I knew. But I needed to hear it anyway.
Tom was speaking to our church about what we were about to do: pass the plate to collect money and to collect blue cards.
You know what collecting money is. Your church probably does it too, in some form or fashion.
Tom held up money in one hand, blue cards in another.
Which is more important?
In the 17 years he’d been with our church, he said the blue cards have always been more important.
Because they’re directly about people and God.
I need those reminders that that’s what counts among us.
“How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?”
He offers six chapters to help answer that question.
- One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church.
- The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work.
- The Word does the work.
- Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people.
- We are living—and longing—for the end of the world.
- We are selfless followers of a self-centered God.
Anything new? Not particularly.
But anything I need to hear anyway? Definitely.
The last thing you and I want to do is waste our lives on religious activity that is devoid of spiritual productivity—being active in the church but not advancing the kingdom of God.
Each church has to figure that out for themselves.
For my church, one way we choose to advance the kingdom is by joining with hearts behind the prayer requests written on the blue cards each Sunday morning.
- Who has needs we can fill for the glory of God?
- Who is reminding us of good things God has already done?
- Who needs our prayer support as they do the work of God in the coming week?
The way to be radical together isn’t only to love each other. That’s good. And it’s something we should do. (And it’s something we often need to collect money to do.)
But the great thing is to do that for the glory of God. Because we love him, we live to honor him. We show this by loving others, inside and outside our church walls.
I’m glad to be reminded of that by my brother Tom at Central.
And by author David Platt in his writings.
And by Jesus in his life and words.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
* * *
Read an excerpt here of Radical Together. (Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my review copy.)
Watch some radical things in the church pastored by David Platt (and mentioned in the book). I’m particularly astounded that his congregation is meeting incredible needs as foster families in their county.