We See It When It Moves….
8 When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.
9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Luke 10 (NIV)
Hunters learn quickly when they are out in the woods that what we all see best is not necessarily vibrant colors, but movement. It doesn’t matter how vibrant the colors are, if they are dormant and don’t move, they will ultimately blend into the background. Further, many animals are color blind! But all animals see movement. And hunters of all kinds, animals or humans, spot their prey most readily when they are moving. Take a look at the picture below. If you look hard, you can find a wolf in this picture.
One of the exercises I ask churches and pastors to do when they are evaluating a church is to stop at a quick stop or some similar place in the town and ask them about the church. Do they know where it’s at or anything else about it? In other words, has the church been seen in the community by those outside the congregation? Sadly, too often, the clerks reach for the phone (or in the old days the phone book) to see if they can look it up. The church, despite having been in the community for years, is invisible. It has blended into the landscape.
Jesus commanded the disciples He was sending out into the villages and towns where He was about to go to be very visible. “Go and heal the sick and proclaim that the kingdom of God has come near!”, He said. Think of the circus parade that used to be common place prior to the arrival of the full circus in years gone by. Jesus wanted the ministry of the disciples to be visible so that the people in the town would be able to capture His coming!
Is your church creating a movement in the community in which it lives? How have the churches you have visited recently been moving in their communities? How is God calling you to move for Him?
No one can answer these questions for you or your congregation. Only you can. But one thing I do know, when God became flesh and dwelt among us, God didn’t want to be invisible. God wanted to be seen. And when Jesus established the church to be His Body on earth until He comes again, I don’t think He meant for us to be invisible either.
Prayer: Oh God, teach me to move for you in ways that will draw the attention of those who are hunting for your Kingdom. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Steve Van Ostran