You Don't Want Me to Go There

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

Have you ever realized that the person with whom you are conversing is about to go somewhere you don’t want them to go?

It gets a little tense, right? They go there but it’s not good!

Paul dealt with divisive pride at Corinth so he can deal with other issues keeping the church off mission.

We value humility, people that cooperate, minister, and thrive spiritually.

So, we work at relationships that flourish in compelling community and making the gospel visible to all. It's why the local church exists.

Therefore, we go to some uncomfortable places that need confrontation, consideration, change, with compassion.

We might think, don’t go there, but to stay on mission, we must. (From 1 Corinthians 4:14-21):

The church that is growing is a church that is changing - in part because each new person, each family brings a diversity of history, expectations, culture, perspective, goals, hopes… sins.

We all have them all. And we need to go there from time to time to stay healthy and cultivate an environment that fosters growth.

It’s what the rest of 1 Corinthians is about. Allow me to “go there” in two places:

1. The Mission Gets Misaligned with Too Many Messages (14-16).

A key to any productive mission is alignment. Everyone needs to be going in the same direction for the same purpose.

So, God places leadership at the local level to motivate not malign (Eph. 4:11-16).

In a culture of “follow”, “shop”, “compare” messages from the convenience of home or phone, fewer remain faithful to our mission of gospel engagement. It produces listeners instead of local laborers.

A digital door one click away to every message and messenger in the marketplace of Christian thought runs a high risk of missional misalignment by removing local authority and accountability.

2. The Mission Gets Aligned with Leadership on A Local Level (17-21).

Paul is going there for the rest of the book! 10,000’s lecture (and listen). Follow the leader laboring locally!

A culture that accepts every opinion, preference, and priority risks pride and cannot prevail.

Leadership keeps us aligned. Our mission is engagement. We make the life-changing gospel visible locally. We listen to fewer, follow fewer, so that we can labor together more (Phil. 1:27-29).  

Christ crucified and risen with one voice aligned is the wisdom and power that reveals and confronts the brutality of pride, self-promotion, and sin - our pettiness, brokenness, reclusion.

Engagement with the gospel locally is redemption made reachable.

It reaches out to heal, to help. It touches, testifies, gets down in the trenches, takes a hand – it restores, rescues, reconciles. What better mission than ours! But we must remain aligned.

Christ crucified and risen kills the competition and keeps us all on mission. It also claims authority over those places we’d rather God not go for our good.

We all have “don’t go there” things in our lives that require compassionate confrontation to foster healthy growth motivated by corrective love not guilt.

1 Corinthians goes there. So will we in our future posts. And it will be good.

I’m counting on you to make changes and yield competing opinions so we can all align with God’s mission: People. Accountable. Humble. Together. The gospel made visible and accessible. Locally. Let’s go there.

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