Our Pastor spoke Sunday about the dangers in having zeal for God without understanding His Word.
It is possible to have a passion for God and be all in, without truly understanding His Word.
It won’t surprise you to know that I’m a ‘Next Steps’ person. There is nothing I’m more passionate about than seeing people take their next steps in their walk with Christ. From that first time guest to new members class. From unbeliever to Baptism. From lost and lonely to small group involvement. From searching to serving. Seeing that wakes me up in the morning and keeps me awake at night.
But wait! Is it possible all of this could be happening without them having true understanding of His Word?
Our Pastor was preaching from Judges, but the verses he cited there came straight from Romans 10:1-3.
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them[a] is for their salvation! 2 I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 Because they disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted themselves to God’s righteousness.
Wow! I thought about how often I’d been guilty of just wanting to see those ‘numbers’ increase. Yes, I wanted them to increase for all the right reasons. My primary goal was to see people know Jesus and take their next steps in their relationship with Him.
But how often did I just want those numbers alone? Those percentages?
If we have 100 new first time guests, then we want at least 75 in the new members class. That gives us a success rate of 75%. Of those we want at least 50% to commit to joining – including serving and giving.
I once told my boss, “when we added [this portion] into our new members’ class, we had a 100% follow up rate after class. When we took it out, that dropped significantly.”
Of course, it’s for Jesus. Of course, it’s to see people connected to a Gospel-centered Church. Of course it’s because each person that walks through our doors represents another soul in Heaven. Of course to all of that.
But do we have systems in place to assure that each of those people – each number – truly knows God.
I don’t want to be in the business of making ‘fans.’ I’m not moving people through a system to create ‘yay-God cheerleaders.’ Zeal itself is not enough. Along the way, I want to make sure each of those people is truly learning about God. About His character and nature. I want to make sure they know His Word.
This blog isn’t just about databases. It’s not just about systems and processes. It’s about our hearts as we see people connected to Jesus and His Church and the great privilege we have been given to play a small part in that.