Greetings from snow-filled Kansas City!
As temperatures drop well below freezing and winter storms cover the roads with ice and snow each of us must consider whether we will drive to work, go to the store, or simply stay in. What are normally simple decisions become more important when we are faced with the possibility of sliding off the road or hitting another car! When we weigh the cost, many of us will decide not to go out – or at least not to go out as much as we otherwise would have – because the reasons for leaving our homes simply aren’t worth the potential trouble.
As Christians, we are regularly faced with a similar dilemma. Should we talk about our faith at work? Or with friends and family who are not Christians? These discussions can be awkward, and in the worst case could cause us our job, our friends, or hurt our relationship with our family. As a result, many Christians today find themselves waiting for “safe” opportunities to discuss their faith with others – safe opportunities that do not always seem to come along.
Of course, the bible is filled with people who risked much more than we risk today, including everything from beatings to death on a cross! So why did these men and women choose to proclaim the truth when their very life was on the line? Because they knew that what they were doing was worth the cost. Some of us decided to take a vacation day or work from home on Tuesday because of the upcoming storm. Driving to work simply wasn’t worth the risk. However, if something were to happen to a family member leaving him or her in desperate need for medicine, we would brave any storm to get it. This is at least a little closer to the truth of our need to proclaim the gospel. If the person we’re speaking to never comes to know Christ, he or she will be forever separated from God. As Christians, the worst thing that can happen to us is that we’ll get to see Christ sooner!
It’s no wonder then that Christians in China, Iran, Indonesia, and many other countries are willing to put their lives on the line every day to spread the gospel. These people do so in conditions that are similar to what the apostles faced in the first century, leading in many cases to their death. Was the fruit of their labor worth that cost? Absolutely! The apostles reached many people, who then reached even more people through the centuries, eventually reaching each of us! How powerfully could we impact the world for Christ if we were to become as brave as the apostles (who certainly weren’t brave from the beginning), or even as brave as the average member of a house church in China?
The need for a robust local and global outreach is an important part of the vision that God has placed on the hearts of many at Westbrooke. Though we don’t pretend to know everything God plans to do with us in the next few years, we are excited to see Him working in our church and plan to discuss this, and other aspects of the vision God is placing on our hearts for Westbrooke, at the family meeting on February 20th.
The Elders at Westbrooke Church