We are a culture that is used to being told how to do something. From the time you are a little kid till you become an adult, you are taught how to do something. How is the system that is used when trying to accomplish a task. We know a lot of systems.
- Your dad teaches you how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and toast bread
- Your mom teaches you how to clean your room and make your bed
- You wake up at a certain time, eat lunch at a certain time, go to school at a certain time, go to bed at a certain time.
- You are taught how to do algebra, geometry and other types of math
- You are taught formulas for solving formulas and for solving other types of problems
- When you get a job, you are taught how that organization accomplishes its goals so that you can help the organization be successful
These are all systems.
I believe that in the church, we are a slave to systems. Because systems work in most other areas of our lives, we jump to believing that they should work within all areas of our spiritual life too.
When you ask a person why they do not share the gospel or why they are not serving, the first answer you will most likely get is that they don’t know how.
Our people need to realize that there is no how.
When Jesus told us to Go and Make disciples, he did not tell us how. When the disciples started the church in Jerusalem, they did not record for us how they did that. When Jesus told us give, fast, love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul – he did not tell us how.
If Jesus told you how to go and make disciples, you would be prone to believe that is the only way to go and make disciples. If the Bible told you how the disciples started the church or even what a service was like, we would tend to limit ourselves to making our service an exact copy of what the disciples did.
The same thing goes for serving. Notice in the Bible, there is no system for how you should clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit the people in prison, or take care of the poor.
This is where a quote from Andy Stanley comes in:
“Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”
You are not told how in the Bible because the how would be your box. God created you to think outside the box.
So what that you visited one ministry and saw how they feed the hungry. You went and served with them – awesome. You want to copy their system and implement it in your community – not awesome. What works in the context of one city may not necessarily work in the context of your city.
You want to feed the hungry? You don’t start with feeding 150 people.
You start with one.
You find one person and you give them a sandwich, or a taco, or you go to McDonald’s and get them a cheeseburger. Then you build a relationship with that person and engage them with the gospel.
After all it is more about Jesus than it is filling their belly. The hungry person will be hungry tomorrow. If you share Jesus with them and he redeems them, they will never be spiritually hungry again.
Jesus is on a mission to rescue people, he wants to include you on that mission.