For the sake of the Kingdom, we will be doers of the Word
Have you ever been inside an Intensive Care Unit? In my first few years of serving as a pastor, I remember being asked to speak to a young lady who had been in a devastating car accident and was now recovering in the ICU. It was my first time being in a hospital, and it showed. When I got to her room, I started knocking loudly on the door. The nurse appeared out of nowhere, gave me a dirty look, and hesitantly let me into the room.
The car accident victim was covered in burns, and her legs were amputated. She had a tube in her throat, and one eye was swollen shut. I stood over her, compassion washing over me. I truly wanted to bring her comfort and the hope of Jesus. But I didn’t know what to say or do. I didn’t know her, and she didn’t know me. I just stood there holding a huge, Encyclopedia-looking Bible, hoping it would justify my presence there.
She groaned and mumbled something to me, but I couldn’t understand her. And the more I asked her what her groan meant, the louder and more violently she did it. The nurse finally came in and was noticeably angry with me. When I finally left the hospital, I was unbelievably ashamed. I had gone there to help, and I had just brought more distress.
Why do I tell this story? God has sent the Church into a world that is in critical condition, but how often do we ask ourselves if the Church is actually helping? How often do we stand there with our Bibles and our theology and not actually do something to serve the world in practical ways?
This is why I have been so focused on the message of the “Do Something Church” over the years. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to share the hope of salvation. But we are also called to partner with the Holy Spirit in the redemptive work of making our cities look more like Heaven!
To be a Do Something Church is to be committed to the mission that Jesus laid out for his disciples right before he ascended to Heaven, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). To put it simply, Jesus gave the Church a mission statement. We are in the disciple-making business, and our mission statement is “Make disciples.” This mission statement is non-negotiable for every Christian. We can’t maintain a country-club mentality and stay closed off to the world. We must live out our mission statement with passion for the kingdom of God.
And businesses don’t just have mission statements. They also have vision statements. Your vision can be defined as “the picture of your preferred future.” What is the future that the Church hopes to see actualized? Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are called to establish pervasive hope in every corner of our city. So, the Church is in the disciple-making business, and the vision statement is “to provide hope everywhere!”
Importantly, the Do Something Church is a body of people — not a building. That means that you — with your individual gifts and talents — are essential to ensuring that this mission and vision are actualized.
As a member of the Body of Christ, you are responsible for living how Jesus lived, walking how Jesus walked, and sharing his hope with the world through action. With that in mind, here are four ways — according to the life of Jesus — that we can live out the Do Something mandate.
Four Ways to be a Do Something Church
1. Count: Assess your community’s needs
In Luke 17:11-19, we read of a miracle in which Jesus heals 10 lepers. Of the 10, only one came back to thank Jesus. I have always found it interesting that the text specifically lists the number of people who were healed. The reality is that the Bible is full of numbers. This is because we serve a God who takes account of every single person. He counts the need, and he meets the need. He leaves the 99 to find the one (Matthew 18:12). As disciples, we are called to count the needs in our community. Like Jesus, we should know exactly how many lepers are in our neighborhoods. We shouldn’t lose count of one!
2. Walk: Do something to meet those needs
Once we have counted the needs, it is time to walk out the doors of the church building and actually meet those needs! Jesus never stayed in the Synagogue and told the sick and the hurting to come to him there. Instead, He went to them. He walked, He interacted with people, and He brought encouragement, hope, and healing.
3. Ask: Ask how you can help your community
As we walk, it is important that we ask people how we can help them. Christians often get a bad reputation because we tell people what they need. All of us are sinners, of course, and all of us need salvation. But what if we started our conversations with “What’s your name?” or “How can I help you?” If we truly get to know people, we can be more surgical about the love we give them. Jesus modeled this. In Mark 10:51, Jesus asked a blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus then waited for his response to take action. Asking how we can serve others is so simple, but it is also a powerful and effective way to show love.
4. Love: Show love to people in practical ways
Speaking of love, this is at the heart of the Do Something Church. As disciples, we should be known for our love. 1 John 4:7 says it best. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” How do we show this love to the world? I believe it starts with obedience. If we truly listen and respond to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our eyes will be opened to countless ways we can show love to others throughout our days. Whether it is by praying for them or meeting their practical needs, our number one priority should be showing people the love of Jesus.
Do something. It is so simple, and it is so important for Christians to grab hold of. If you would like to learn more about the Do Something Church, you can watch our current sermon series at Rock Church on Youtube.
Miles McPherson is the Senior Pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego. He is also a motivational speaker and author. McPherson's latest book “The Third Option” speaks out about the pervasive racial divisions in today’s culture and argues that we must learn to see people not by the color of their skin, but as God sees them—humans created in the image of God.