"Going to" or "going out?"
Dr. J. D. Greear has written a book titled “Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches That Send.” In his book, he declares that JESUS pointed to sending, not gathering, as the key to reaching the world with the gospel. He tells us that bringing in large groups of people to hear a message is good, but training up disciples and sending them out is better.
In discussing the ongoing changes in our culture for the past several generations, Dr. Greear says that our “Sunday services” have “become less and less effective at bringing in the lost. If believers do not learn to carry the gospel outside the church, no one is going to hear.”
Dr. Greear shares a quote from Steve Timmis:
We can no longer assume that if people want to find GOD or discover meaning or cope with a personal crisis, they will go to church. They may attend any number of religious bodies or sects. Or they may go to a therapist. Or read a self-help book. Merely opening our doors each Sunday is no longer sufficient. Offering a good product is not enough…What is clear is that great swathes of America will not be reached through Sunday morning services.
Dr. Greear then declares, “For those of us in the Western church, I think we are at a crucial decision point. I love seeing big audiences gathered to hear the gospel, but if we want to reach the next generation, we are going to have to equip our people to reach them OUTSIDE the church.”
Actually, Dr. Greear’s comments are not new. Look at the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…” Mark 16:15 states, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. In John 20:21, JESUS says, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” In other words, the word “send” does not mean “go to church.” Rather, as GOD sent JESUS into the world to be on mission, He likewise sends us. Not come, but go!
We have a “sending” GOD." He sent His Son, JESUS, and, because He has saved us from our sins, He also wants to send us, not to church, but into the world where the lost people live.