“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Since these words were spoken by Jesus, wars have ravaged the earth. Explorers have travelled to the farthest reaches and laid the foundations to a new world held together through instant communications. Cultures are shifting exponentially whilst faith, we are told, diminishes. Church is dead, apparently. It’s no longer about ‘us’ – instead, it’s all about me. Community was something that was required rather than desired. But in this ‘enlightened’ age, it’s all for one and all for our ourselves. Community is dead. Isn’t it?
A lot has changed since the day Jesus sent out his disciples with the Great Commission. But yesterday, as the Kerith Centre was filled with people in need of food being provided for in the most spectacular ways, I saw his command being fulfilled. Then as the day progressed and we started to mobilise youth teams to head to Woking and Yateley for LIFE on Tour, I couldn’t help but notice that Jesus’ commands are still very much being followed today. The incredible parents who had taken time off of work to ensure that our team of gifted worshippers, technical teams and leaders (all of which had given their time so sacrificially too) all got to their specific locations at the right time were a stark reminder that there are still people who care enough about Jesus to do whatever it takes to see lives changed. Over fifty volunteers gave up their Friday nights to do their part to extend the reaches of God’s Kingdom just a little further. It was fantastic to see so many people moved to action. How can people say that church is redundant after seeing Revolution, a staggeringly young worship team, play with such passion and enthusiasm for God, or hearing fantastic truths from Liam or Jason? How can they say that church is redundant when so many young people are interested in nothing more than hearing about Jesus? How can people say that community is dead when, with such selflessness, so many are willing to pull together after busy days and weeks to work tirelessly together for a collective, life-changing cause? Despite countless changes in history, the Great Commission is still being fulfilled today. That’s powerful.
All I can say is that church isn’t redundant. Community certainly isn’t dead.