[“Church Without…” is a series of think-pieces designed to slowly deconstruct what we think is essential to having church and to call attention to the hidden barriers we’ve erected between ourselves and the Great Commission.]
This series started without much of an idea of how it would go.
I think I told Eric Dye that it would be “Godin-esque” in its opinionated brevity, but that was all I really had to go on.
And now, we’re at the end, with lucky number 13.
There’s a lot that’s funny about the number 13 being seen as unlucky. The late, great comedian Mitch Hedberg once opined that, “If 13 is an unlucky number, then the letter B should be unlucky, too, because B looks like a scrunched together 13.” What’s also funny is that one of the reasons given for why 13 is such an unlucky number is that there were 13 people at the Last Supper: Jesus and His Disciples.
I don’t buy that, of course, but a lot of people are superstitious. Maybe not like some hotels that refuse to have a 13th floor, but a lot of people have those weird things that they’re afraid of or consider unlucky.
Now, if you think about it, since their fears are irrational, what they have isn’t a superstition: It’s an excuse.
Proverbs 22:13 provides this example: The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!”
The point here is that the lazy refuse to try. They make up excuses to stay at home and never take a risk. Surely you’ve met some. Maybe you’ve been one?
“There are lions/atheists/terrorists out there! It’s not safe!” they might say.
Or perhaps, “If I tell them about Jesus, they’ll be angry with me, or worse—they might laugh at me.”
It’s all excuses, all reasons not to obey the simple command Jesus gave us when He left: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
But what if we led churches that refused to give excuses? What if we led our our people to stop responding with excuses and, instead, found more ways to engage their community with the Gospel? There would be so very little that the enemy could do to stop us because the church without excuses is the church that remembers what Jesus said just after He gave us the Great Commission: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
If Jesus is going with us, then we have no excuses. We only have to obey and trust Him that He will not let us down, as we follow Him into eternity.
And that’s it. No lesson or metaphor about technology. Just a friendly warning that we are responsible to Jesus for what He has commanded us to do, and a simple reminder that He’s promised to be with us every step of the way.