Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
– Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
From the pulpit in our church, one can see the seam in the carpet that separates the two shades of red carpet pieces. The seam represents the point where the old sanctuary was enlarged in the early 1990s because this small country church needed more seats for people to come and worship. Yes, from the front of the church I can see the problem, but it’s not the two shades of carpet. The problem is that in the 20 years after the expansion, no more seams have been needed. The growth stopped. The congregation dwindled. Somewhere along the way, the vision shifted away from reaching out to others.
The early church knew how to grow. They did not change their vision or stop reaching out. With the people’s response on the Day of Pentecost, it might have been easy to turn the focus inward. But instead the early Christians continued to preach the gospel to all the world. Hopefully someday all of our church buildings will have noticeable seams as God uses us to reach out to others and draw them into the family.
Andy Wayne Clapp (North Carolina, USA)