This is the last “Lessons” post in my series. As before, here are the other “Lessons”
- Lesson 1 – Loving Africa and the Nations
- Lesson 2 – We’re bigger than AIDS
- Lesson 3 – Orphans
- Lesson 4 – Empowering a Nation
Lesson 5 :: “Church” is a verb
If you have noticed one common theme in these posts, it should be this: the Church is a movement. If you have missed this, go back and read the lessons again. The Church, in Uganda, is a verb. The Church – worldwide – needs to continue being a verb.
I won’t go into a deep theological study on the roots and commission of the Church – just read Acts for that – but I will give some thoughts on this growing topic. Jesus has given us all power and authority – through Him – to take care of all the issues we face today, tomorrow, and twenty-five years from now. Over and over again, He promises us His Holy Spirit (John 14-17), who will come and empower/equip us to do the work Christ has called us forth to do.
There has been a rise in the “social justice” gospel over the years, which is good. Though, we forget that the “social justice” gospel has been preached since the prophets (read the likes of Isaiah, Joel, Hosea, Micah, Jeremiah). To me, the “social justice” gospel of Christ is simple: love God, love others, love His Glory. This is my life’s mission.
It’s not the governments job to care for the sick, the homeless, the orphaned, those dying of AIDS, those in poverty, etc. These jobs have been commissioned to the Church, by Christ. Over the years, though, the Church has lost this vision and has forsaken this commission, and in doing so has turned inward. The Church – as a whole – is self-focused, and I believe this is why so many people have left and are rejecting the message of the Church: the Body of Christ has become the Body of Me.
Church, we need to stop and change our focus … NOW.
One of the biggest lessons I learned in Africa was that there is still hope for the Church worldwide (and local churches). The people in Uganda aren’t waiting for the government to handle the rise in orphans, or build more schools, or feed the hungry, or give aid to those with AIDS. The people are looking to the Church; and the churches are effectively responding. Every ministry and every church in Uganda has at least three components connected to it: orphans, AIDS, and poverty. Every church stands together in these areas: Catholics with Pentecostals with Baptists. They recognize that they are ONE body with ONE mission, and that each is trying to achieve the same goal: displaying the work and person of Christ to the people of Uganda.
It is a beautiful lesson to behold, and one that I am praying we – the rest of the Church – quickly learn. God’s House – the Body of Christ – is a movement of people, who are eager to seek after God’s glory and be the real hands and feet of Christ to the Nations. The Church is a verb. May we better understand this and continue to move as ONE body with ONE mission!
Church, the world before us is watching and waiting. So is God above …