And then many will be offended… (Matthew 24:10)
I hold professionalism as the highest ideal. Professionalism is simply having a clear objective and moving toward it in spite of inward and outward pressures away from said objective. I believe in professionalism we emulate our Lord and Savior. In His early ministry Christ held a specific all encompassing mission: the reconciliation and redemption of the lost to the Father. He allowed neither the trivial nor the urgent to intervene between Himself and His purpose. In the same sense He did not allow empathy or compassion to intervene between Himself and His divine mission. If I speak correctly, I state that the mission of the Church is to see the unsaved become saved.
In professionalism and understanding of the Church’s mission I think we can take rest and alleviate ourselves from two criticisms.
- “The Church is judgmental and unwelcoming.” Perhaps there is truth here, and there is no doubt that hospitality, geniality, and follow up require continual improvement! Yet, we can take rest in knowing God Himself sends the disturbance into the hearts of the many, as the Word is a two edged sword:
“no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)
Repentance comes upon the realization that one needs God’s redemption. Very bluntly when the Word of God is presented it will convict and many will prefer to walk away, as they do not wish to judge themselves. They will walk away and they will criticize the church, they will criticize us. Yet, this disturbance is what is best for them; as salvation is the Goal.
- “The Church is not charitable enough”. First, I disagree entirely with this; as I have seen too many amazing churches and people blessing this community in Christ’s name. That said, there is always something more to be done, “the poor will always be among you”, but our hour of Decision is short. We can take rest knowing that the mission is salvation of the lost and charity is the demonstration of our commitment. Food pantries and community programs matter, yet establishing our Churches with the impetus that God’s glory will be revealed through the preaching and teaching of His word is beyond value.
Rest cannot mean the neglecting of our duty and the desire to improve. Rest absolutely means we never need to feel guilty stating that the salvation of one person is more important than false perceptions of the many.