Keith Jones, Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church of Centralia
It’s football season and I am looking forward to being in the stands tonight to cheer on Centralia. That is where I want to be fan. I do not, however, want to be caught on the sidelines of my faith. Several years ago, Kyle Idelman, now Senior Pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, wrote a book called Not a Fan. It was a well written, thoughtful book about how Christians participate (or don’t participate) in their walk with Christ. The message of that book has stuck with me through the years since I read it and it caused me to view the Christian life, particularly mine, in a different light. One thing that it did, was it made me realize that, like the book said, there are far too many people sitting on the sideline, just a spectator, not really participating. However, as I continue to look through this lens (always at myself first), I came to the realization that there are so many different reasons that people stay on the sidelines. While I cannot address all of the individual reasons we choose to stay on the sidelines, I always feel the need to encourage you to get up and get in the game; and maybe, just maybe, I can encourage you today to do just that.
To my fellow believers- Get off the sidelines: The old cliche of 20% of the people do 80% of the work needs to exit our vocabularies. Get in the game. The Great Commission does not say “Church Staff” go and make disciples. It does not say “Sunday School Teachers” go and make disciples. It does not say “People who have their lives together” go and make disciples. It is an imperative from Christ Himself to ALL OF US to go and make disciples of all nations. In fact, the exact wording if you need the reference is:
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Then in Acts 1:8, a coinciding promise and command is given, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” It is has been made pretty clear that we all have the responsibility to share the gospel, to see people baptized, and to walk with them as we all grow in our faith.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.