Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
— 2 Corinthians 5:11 – 21
As author Steven Covey has said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” All of us, if we are not careful, run the risk of mission drift in our lives. High school students can get so caught up in extra-curricular activities that they don’t pay attention to the actual curriculum. An engaged couple can spend so much time preparing for the wedding that they forget to prepare for the marriage. We can get so caught up taking our kids places that we don’t have time to actually know our kids! If we are not careful, it’s easy to lose track of the main thing.
Churches are no different. There is actually a lot of good stuff that a church can be involved in doing. Churches can provide social opportunities. Churches can work to bring about justice. Churches can teach life-changing truth and help people make better decisions.
But when the rubber meets the road, the church is, first and foremost, to be about proclaiming the gospel to a lost and dying world. Jesus made this much clear in his three years of public ministry. He was on a mission. He didn’t have to take any polls or ask for any input as to how he should live his life or invest his time and energy. Jesus was clearly on a mission to lay down his life for the world.
As a church, that is what we are to be about. We are to be fanatical about introducing the lost to Jesus and teaching them how to follow him. This is our mission as a church.
Interestingly enough, this will not be the main thing at c|Life when we talk about it on Sunday mornings or sing songs about it. This will only truly be the main thing at c|Life when it is the main thing in the lives of the people of c|Life. So as the people of c|Life and, more importantly, the people of God, let’s keep the main thing the main thing. Let’s live in the light of the grace of God and spend our days alert to the needs of the people around us, sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and bold to proclaim the message that Jesus saves!