The Role of the Church in Saving Humanity
22 Nov 2019
We often think of the day of Pentecost as the moment when the church was born. When thousands of people speaking myriad languages all heard the Gospel and were cut to the heart. But before any of that, before the crowds knew what they were in for, one moment changed everything.
‘Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”’ (John 21:15). This was the very first liturgy of the Church’s first commissioning service. No bells. No whistles. Just charcoal and some freshly cooked fish. The hungry lambs came from everywhere. Even the unclean sheep from faraway lands came looking for a feed. Peter and the apostles fed them the pure mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then, one by one, the fed ones became the sent ones.
Not many years later, on another beach in another country, a small group of men huddled together. They were there to say a final goodbye to the one who first invited them to the feast. Paul commended the elders of the church to pay careful attention to themselves and to the flock; to take care of the church of God (Acts 20:28a). The tears of those men that day watered the soil of the next generation of shepherds.
Sheep feeding and breeding haven’t changed much since those early days. Jesus’ wisdom is on display every time the church’s shepherds faithfully layout the whole counsel of God’s Word for the sheep. His wisdom carries on to the next generation, the next town, the next people group when men and women are sent by the shepherds to go and find more people to invite to the table.
Therefore, to bypass the church on the way to the unreached is to forget who the sheep belong to. Because Christ’s church is both a gathering and a sending church. Every church carries the call to be fruitful and to feed a multiplying flock of sheep from every nation.
There’s no shortage of humans that need to be fed and rescued from starvation. We thank God for every church in Australia busy preparing the table for the sheep each week. And for every church that prays, weeps, rejoices and gives sacrificially to send their sheep to the faraway corners of the earth to feed even more.
– Tyler Shedd – Member, Care, and Development.
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