Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Misguided Solution of Law-based Mission

Many people have rightly noted that folks in our congregations are very lax in speaking or proclaiming their faith to others. That is the problem. However, it actually is a smaller problem than the misguided solution of Law-based Mission programs.

Here's how it goes. The preacher comes in and tells you that you need to start telling more people about Jesus. Note the subject-verb -- *you* need. This is nothing but law. The assumption is simply that people don't have enough urging, so kick them in the teeth to motivate (which also is horrible, horrible doctrine). Toss in recycled Finney New Measures methods as well, and it's just a mess.

Here's the thing this solution forgets. The Gospel actually is good news. If I know that it is good news, I'm not going to need you to beat me over the head to speak it.

As an example, at this week's Church Workers' Conference, I was telling everyone over and over that my wife is expecting. I didn't need to have Chris Hall come and tell me that I need to tell people about the fact that I'm a father. It was GOOD NEWS - and of course I was going to share it with people.

Why aren't people sharing the Gospel? Because they don't see or understand the Gospel. When they get it, when they understand, when they actually have this wondrous hope, then they will defend the hope that they have within them.

"No, no, no - you have to MAKE them tell people the good news." If that is your attitude, I have to ask, do your people even know what the Good News is anymore -- or do they think the Gospel is that they get to be workers in the God's family, proving how wonderful they are.


Robin said...

Growing up in the Southern Baptist world and then becoming acquainted with the pietistic calvinists, it really is only good news if you get the revelation that it is for you. I lived in the am I really saved tension they whole time. In fact, any time I go to one of these churches I am left unable to tell the "good news" because honestly it is the most conditional good news I have ever heard. I mean if someone said I have good news for you then I would expect to hear something that is so great and won't be a burden upon on, make me afraid, or make me wonder constantly if what they told me actually was good news for me. All of that actually sounds like bad news. I think few people actually know it as straight up good news for all to hear. Even if they know that it is a reality in their own life, if they have ANY calvinist leanings whatsoever they won't be able to say that it is specifically good news to the person they are talking to. It is more like good news in theory and that is much different.

Anonymous said...

A great little song to teach our kids early on to be disciple makers. Tell me what you think of it: "Make disciples. Make disciples. If you don't you'll be eaten in your sleep."

This is sung with a catchy little tune, right before bed and upon arising in the morning. Works great!

HT: Dwight Schrute

Pr. Tom Fast