Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Growing in Grace is a blog by Pastor Matthew Molesky. His posts explore the Bible, theology, ecclesiology, culture, books, family, and life.

The Heart of the Kingdom

Jesus and the Parable of the Lost Sheep

Jesus and the Parable of the Lost Sheep

One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  (Luke 9:1-2, NLT)

“Church members are very forbearing and forgiving regarding the neglect of the lost, while extremely impatient and unforgiving regarding the neglect of the righteous.
Think of a continuum on which the left end represents an extremely effective ‘home’ function of a church, and the right end represents an extremely effective ‘mission’ function.  After journaling these thoughts, I decided to evaluate the church I pastor in light of this continuum.  Believing a healthy and balanced church would find its X placed in the center, I had to honestly admit that our X was placed well left of center — being far more effective as a home to God’s people than as a mission to the unchurched.
Through the years, we have had numerous people leave our church feeling that their needs as believers had not been met, and frankly, many of them had legitimate complaints.  Yet what grieves me the most is that never during those years has anyone so much as complained about our ineffectiveness as a mission. 
Many have left for personal reasons; none have departed because we failed to care for the lost.  When have you ever lost a member because your church was failing to effectively reach the lost?

Randy Pope, The Prevailing Church, (Chicago, 2003), page 33.
 (from Ray Ortlund)


For The Ladies (And It Wouldn't Hurt The Men To Watch)

Vital Lens