There is a recurring theme that I find as I travel to churches around the country. The church seems to be missing the life of engagement. I looked online and according to Merriam Webster here are a couple definitions of engagement:
- emotional involvement or commitment
- the state of being in gear
It seems like so many Christians are simply going through the motions. They are not “bad” people, but their journey has become a routine. Dare I say their faith has become boring? They come to church on Sunday; they give in the offering, and may even read their Bible every day. But something is missing. Sticking with the idea of engagement is seems like the church may be dating Jesus, but have refused his requests to get married.
There are two things that are connected that appear to have caused this. Imagine one of those hand cars that go down a railroad tracks. When you push on one side the other side goes up. One side of this car is prayer and the other side is mission. One leads to the other.
Being a prayer guy you would expect me to say that one side is prayer. But what you might not expect is that one of the reasons I challenge people to pray is because I know that it results in mission. As you see in the Bible, when people came into the presence of God they were draw into some mission that God had for them.
The flip side is true as well. As you engage in the mission that God has for you it become obvious that you cannot do this with your own power. It requires the power of God. This will drive you into the presence of God in prayer. And the cycle will continue. Now when I am talking about mission I mean this in two ways-the broader sense of God’s activity for us and more narrowly the cross cultural calling to new people.
I have found an interesting thing happens when I push the levers of prayer and mission in my own life. It begins me moving down the tracks. And very importantly is where it takes me. It takes me to the heart of God.
But my passion is not enough. What about your engagement? Are you moving down the track? Which side do you need to move down the field? God needs you!