For the past two years at Ground Zero Youth Group, many of my messages boil down to three basic statements.
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
- Go into all the world making disciples of all nations.
For simplicities sake, we’ve brought it down into this simple slogan! (The graphic is a quick and dirty. I need this beautiful graphics design artist to come up with the real thing.)
Love! Love! Go! Christ summarized all the law and the prophets into the first and greatest commandment. Each of the original ten commandments falls under either “love God” or “love you neighbor.” But it doesn’t stop there. As James Clark said this past Sunday during the message at Christ Fellowship, “So what?” In other words, what does this love compel you to do. It should not only compel you to action, it should propel you into all the world — GO!
The problem is, we see the words “Go into all the world” and think that means we have to travel, go on short-term missions trips, drop everything we are doing, sell all that we have, and travel like Paul. Guess what, He may call you to do just that. It is more likely, however, that he is calling you to GO to those in your sphere of influence. He is entrusting each of us with a group of His children that may not ever have the chance of knowing Christ except through our actions, and our invitations.
I read a startling article in the tbt* (Tampabay Times) today by John Romano that said the Tampabay area falls in at second to last in regular church attenders, just ahead of Portland, OR. The 2010 U.S. Religious Census has the number of regular church attenders in Tampabay at 34.7 percent.
Another interesting statistic I heard recently said that 82 percent of the people you ask to church will respond with “yes” and go. We only need to invite them. That doesn’t mean that they will become regular church attenders, but they may. It is our responsibility, our “great commission!” We don’t have to GO very far to go into all the world. For those of us in the Tampabay area, the fields are white unto harvest. According to the 2010 U.S. Religious Census, 65.3 percent of our population do not regularly attend church, of those 82 percent will go if we ask them.
So, “GO!” is not that complicated, it doesn’t take fund-raising, planning, plane tickets, and hard work. “GO!” can be boiled down to this, “Do you want to go to church with me this week?”
“Love! Love! Go!”
Who will you invite to church this week? Feel free to leave a comment!