The Rooftop talks about Christians who go beyond the walls of the church, joining Jesus in His Mission and making Disciples who make Disciples.
Christians become Confused?
Christians look one way and see a building that has formed their view as to what church is. They usually know that is not actually true, but years of ‘conditioning’ means they can’t help it!
They look the other way and see ‘the world’
Christians are typically taught that Evangelism happens out in ‘the world’, but that Discipleship happens in ‘the church’. There are often special discipleship meetings or a course laid on. Much of the time this is about how to become a good Christian and avoid sin.
But, as Jesus modelled for us, Evangelism takes place outside the church, in the world, a big frightening place, where people seemingly and increasingly don’t understand or like Christians, or our message. A few ‘special Christians’ seem to be called to be ‘Evangelists’ and although we sort of know we should be too, we lack the training or confidence.
Many of us are confused Christians, who do not know what to do, so the easiest thing is to decide to become Disciples rather than Evangelists because then we haven’t got to go out and speak to all those scary people about Jesus!
A Paradigm Shift is needed.
But the Bible teaches that ALL Disciples of Jesus are also on His Mission. We have access to the empowerment of The Holy Spirit to go out and do this. Therefore, we are also all about Evangelism and must be engaged in being Disciples who make Disciples, beyond the walls of the church.
Matthew 4:19: ‘Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”’
Jesus is above everything
So we need to start again, with Jesus. He is head of The World AND The Church – that being us, His followers, not a building. It is not about how full a church building gets, that can often be a reason for mission and unfortunately frequently becomes self seeking and serving.
When we recognise Jesus Christ is at the head of all, Discipleship and Evangelism become the same thing. Maybe we would better have just one word, Evangleship or Discipleism!
This third illustration has been described as a prophetic picture. Christians equipped and trained, filled with the power of The Holy Spirit, leaving their buildings and passionately engaging with the world, as Disciples, who make Disciples.
Which napkin are you on?!
UK Pioneer, The Rooftop
(Base material for this article and illustrations by Rev. Dennis Pethers, Founder of The Rooftop)