Doing Church with Your Eyes Closed
There are many things in life that become so routine we often claim we can “do them with our eyes closed.” Everyday patterns of life that produce thoughtless, instinctive reactions become engrained over time enabling us to operate on autopilot for much of our week. But God never called us to live on autopilot and he certainly didn’t call us to do church with our eyes closed. Recently, there was a point in my life I realized I was living and serving the church with my eyes closed. Week after week provided the same routines and expectations that were predictable and really comfortable. Of course there were interruptions such as performing a funeral or an unexpected conversation with someone in crisis, but those had become few and far between. I didn't expect them and I certainly didn't pray for God to open my eyes to the needs of others in my life and community.
Sadly Sunday morning has become routine for many of our churches across America. These former bastions of mission and defenders of the faith began with the intentionality of taking the life-changing Gospel of Jesus to their community. Sunday schools were once driven by the mission reaching those far from God and making disciples. Sunday nights were once training grounds for developing leaders for future generations. And as we gathered to exalt the risen Jesus on Sunday mornings, we were compelled to take the message of eternal hope to all we met week after week. Missional engagement with the Gospel was once the life-blood of the Church.
But over time as patterns developed and routines were established America started doing church with their eyes closed, forgetting the mission of the church and failing to see the great need to proclaim Christ to our neighbors. Going to church became more important than going into all the world and making disciples. Attending Sunday school and worship services became routine and our hearts grew calloused for those far from God. It is easier to do church with our eyes closed than live out the mission of God. How do you do church with your eyes wide open? [quote]How do you do church with your eyes wide open?[/quote]
1) Rediscover the heart of God who created you to reflect His love and mercy to the world. As a follower of Christ, you are a vital part of God’s plan to fill the earth with worshippers of every tribe and tongue. Genesis 1:22; Habakkuk 2:14
2) Remember that you have been given life by the grace of God so that others may have life through the hope of the Gospel. Ephesians 2:4-10
3) Recapture the joy of proclaiming Christ to those far from God. Acts 20:24; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
4) Reclaim your schedule as opportunities for God to display His grace through you. We all will have routines, but will we see them as reoccurring opportunities for engaging people with the Gospel. How can God use your week if you were intentional about building relationships with those you meet and praying for opportunities to tell of God’s love for them? Romans 14:12; Matthew 10:6-7
5) Reorient the mission of your life to accomplish God’s original purpose of filling the earth with worshippers. What could you do each day to accomplish this mission? Ephesians 5:16; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
By God's grace, my eyes have been opened to the purpose and mission of God once again. It is my prayer that God's people would forsake the routine and ordinary for the eye opening adventure of making Christ known in every community and nation. Imagine what impact the Church would have if each of us lived each day with our eyes wide open to the joys of knowing and proclaiming God.