On my Facebook page this week I noted a post from a fellow pastor who serves a church in the deep South. It seems he was congratulating his church for voting to do missions and evangelism. It struck me as being rather odd that any church of the Lord Jesus Christ would need to vote to do missions and evangelism. That’s like water voting to be wet; or light deciding whether or not it should shine.
It served as a stark reminder to me of how easy it is for any organization, churches included, to get off mission and become something it was never intended to be. Think of this. Most all of the Ivy League schools were started with the specific purpose and intent of training preachers for the gospel ministry. Now, places like Harvard and Princeton have wandered so far from their roots that conservative Christian students are rarely accepted. It seems their views of the inspiration of scripture, the virgin birth and the divinity of Jesus Christ are out of step with the school’s view. They are literally seen as being uneducated because they hold to the very beliefs upon which those schools were founded. The mission of the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) was to reach young men for Jesus Christ. Now it’s just the neighborhood gym where kids go to play soccer and basketball. You don’t see the name of Jesus mentioned anywhere. I call it “Missional Drift.” Missional drift doesn’t kill organizations outright, but it does take them off course and render them ineffective.
If organizations can get off target, so can we as individuals. That is why we must remain rooted and grounded in the word of God. We must constantly, as individuals and as a church, be about the business of examining ourselves to see if we are “in the faith...” (2 Corinthians 13:5) lest we inadvertently wander from our Savior’s purpose for us.
With this in mind, in the weeks ahead I will be praying and working with our staff as we rework our core values, making sure that we are in consonance with scripture and that we are faithful to our Lord’s purpose for us as His people. Jesus could return any day now and the thing we must desire the most is to be found faithful!
by Dr. Calvin Wittman
One of the chief problems in living the Christian life seems to be consistency. There are those times when we sense the presence of God in a real and powerful way. But then there come those days when Heaven seems so distant that praying is like pulling teeth. The key to consistency and to overcoming is ....