As I read the Scriptures, particularly the book of Acts we see people on the move, a church on mission and it’s exciting. It’s not without significant challenges to overcome, fears to fight through and people to love and sometimes lovingly confront. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be one of those early pastors. And in light of our theme of #FuelGrace I noticed some other interesting things about that early church. They were fueled regularly. There were people and resources that were provided in order to see the mission go forward. In some cases it was merely the encouragement of people they met. In other cases it was some physical resource or money that allowed an aspect of the mission to go forward. In still other cases there were people who jumped on board and said, “count me in”. Each one of those actions fueled the work of God. But here’s where it got a little interesting for me: who was really “fueled” in those cases?
On first glance, it would seem it was people like the Apostle Peter or Paul or Barnabus who were fueled, but a closer look shows a deeper story. And while not always recorded, the people who chose to be fuel were fueled in their own journey. There’s something about joining a movement that moves us. A lot of time, we tell ourselves, “well, it feels good to help someone” but what really happens is we get helped. We begin to feel a part of something special. We start to notice things we didn’t notice before. We start to see lives up close and personal and people cease to be faceless or nameless — but they become the very blessings in our lives. What we may initially think is helping someone else, is actually growing and moving us.
I remember back to when I was 16 or 17 years old and a thought hit me that I’ve said to people for the last 25-30 years now: “you will never know what it truly means to be a Christian until you allow God to use you in the lives of others” or sometimes I say, “…until you join God’s work personally.” My fear is that there are many people who walk around claiming to be Christians and yet never know what it’s like to really live as a Christian, to be a part of a “Christ-movement”. And while there are churches and ministries that are hindered and harmed by the sheer amount of Christians who are passive and not engaged. The real people who are hurt and miss out are the Christians themselves.
And finally, since this is the Grace Church blog and likely read by mostly Grace Church people. Let me say, #FuelGrace is not just about a need of resources (although we are strained). #FuelGrace is about a call, a call to everyone who considers Grace Church their home to join the movement, to answer the call and to refuse to just be an attender or simply just call themselves Christians. Being generous is not easy, particularly when there are so many needs and wants in our culture. Giving of our time and efforts is not easy when time is actually seen as more valuable than money. But I can tell you this: everyone who chose to surrender fully to God’s work and engaged in His mission were radically changed and were a part of changing the world. Don’t miss your chance!