Aside from a small beef, that the last verse quoted deals with internal Christian relationships and thus doesn’t advance or cap the point of the article, I have only cheers and amens for Matthew Morine’s article, “The Church and the Lost.”
Therefore, if a congregation is to be faithful to the pattern of Jesus, the congregation must be functioning with non-Christians in mind. A congregation must not be internally-driven by the needs and demands of the saved. A congregation must have the same perspective of Jesus by placing the priority on the lost.
It deserves to be read three or four times and implemented immediately in every church.
But what is happening now in congregations? The mission budget is the first to go when finances are pinched. I have said countless times that such actions do not represent the priority of Christ.
Elders often react to events and to the congregation rather than act as the guides they should be. Observers have long complained that many churches have boards of directors rather than spiritual shepherds, and it is exactly in carrying forward the mission of God in the world that they drop the ball.
New churches should start with that clear directive, of sacrifice of the body of Christ for the salvation of the world. Many of the old congregations seem to have given that up for self-preservation and fellowship meals rather than offering lives on the altar of the preaching of the gospel to the world and teaching the will of God in stinky living rooms and around dirty kitchen tables.
The New Testament is our pattern for faith, worship and mission.
Forward to restoration in this, too!