There are millions of people in this country who profess to be Christian (Christ-followers). The more I learn about Christ and his teaching, I have to wonder how many Christians follow only to the limits of our own comfort. We make or profession public, we celebrate Believer’s Baptism, and we are marked “saved” on the card. We learn how the church works, and how to remain in good standing with the leadership. We adjust to the culture, and as long as we can stay in the center of the church, we are safe. Making no mistakes, with our reputation intact.
I believe many of us live in that bubble created by a socially conservative fellowship, and really, outside of some event-driven ministry, never take a chance for the Kingdom at all. We’ve learned to be safe in our followship; we are careful in our language and with whom we share conversation and friendship. We do all we can to protect our image, our reputation, and the reputation of the church; at the very same time, we miss meaningful relationships, evangelism, and community with the very people Jesus would have targeted. The people Jesus would have loved to meet. The people He would have loved. The people He loves.
I think we’ve decided that, for most of us, our church’s success will be found by being in the middle of the road; careful; the protector of the reputation of the fellowship. And at the same time, the people who live on the fringes of society, the very people who need the love and compassion of Christ, are left with no meaningful connection to those who should, by definition, offer the most complete and life-changing hope imaginable.
I encourage you… take a chance. Get out of the middle of the road and find the fringes where the weary; the broken, the misshapen, the damaged people live. I think it may have been a Texan who said, “the only thing in the middle of the road is a broken yellow line and dead armadillos.”
Go ahead. Take a chance. Live a little…. love a lot. Risk everything. Be willing to lose.
Isn’t that what Jesus did?