I came across this quote by Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C., this week in my reading. It expresses one of my convictions for Roots Church, that connects with our current sermon series on evangelism. It is this: We want to be a church who’s members are engaged and present in this community, out of love for the people of this community and a desire to many hear and respond to the gospel
One of the things this requires is that we are not spending all of our time at church or only with each other (although we should be spending time with each other too!). And so as a church, we don’t ever want to plan so many programs, studies, or gatherings that you don’t have the time to engage your neighbors, co-workers, and others you meet through school, sports, etc. Our prayer is that we use our time wisely and with a sense of the glory of God, the greatness of salvation, and the shortness of time.
Here’s the quote:
“We (pastors) are, in a sense, willing to be pulled behind the front lines in order to equip others. We realize the front line of the contest, the “skin” of the church, if you will, is represented by the members of the local congregation after they leave church on Sunday. It is then, throughout the week, that the church presses in on the kingdom of darkness as believers live out their callings around hundreds or even thousands of non-Christians each week. It is our task as pastors to lead all believers in accepting, embracing, and using the opportunities that God richly gives them. In all of this, we should work not so much merely to implement programs as to create a culture in our church. We want our congregations to be marked by a culture of evangelism. In order to do that, we are going to have to watch how many nights we encourage our members to be doing some program at church. We must give our members time to develop friendships with non-Christians.”