“It is no marvel that the devil does not love field preaching! Neither do I; I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these underfoot in order to save one more soul?” -J. Wesley, Journal, June 23
Isn’t it fascinating how quickly we bottle up the Holy Spirit? We see the transfigured Christ in glory and instead of being transformed we set up a monument to remember it, (including a plaque with the name of the chief donor). Our churches become towers of Babel, reaching to the heavens to make a name for ourselves rather than Christ, where only one language (way of being church) is allowed, lest we be scattered beyond our walls and seek the least and the lost. The tower, the tents on the mountaintop, the way we’ve always done it. And then there’s the great commission, the command that was there from Genesis 1 when God commanded us to fill the earth and subdue it. In an increasingly post-Christian American society, the attractional model of church has to blend into a missional model where we not only seeking to minister to those who don’t know Christ beyond our walls, we must also be willing to transform into the Body of Christ that meets the real and spiritual needs of those people.
In 1744, John Wesley responded to a question about what rules should guide the preachers of the Methodist movement:
“You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most. It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.”
What is fascinating is that in losing ourselves to the evangelistic mission, our churches will truly discover the transfigured Christ in their midst. Are we willing to trust the way of the cross to find resurrection?