In light of the shooting at First Baptist Sutherland Springs, someone asked me how the church is supposed to balance the priority of keeping people safe while still engaging in it’s mission to love people. Both priorities are important.
Regarding physical safety, we have two uniformed police officers on campus every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. We do extensive background checks on everyone who volunteers with students and children and we train our volunteers to respond to emergencies. We also have off duty law enforcement officers who know who one another are so they can respond together in case of emergency. (If you’re in law enforcement and we don’t know it, please contact our lead, Greg Jones.)
With that having been said, though, Jesus told us in Matthew 24 that the world would become an increasingly dark place. He spoke candidly about the costs of following him. While we never intentionally seek out danger for danger’s sake, our mission is to take the love of Jesus to everyone: to the lost, the hurting, the broken. We’re not merely to receive people who come to “church” on Sundays, we’re to seek-to intentionally go and reach out-to all who do not know how loved they are by Jesus.
Loving people is inherently risky, but Jesus is worth it. We seek wise and cautious, but in reality, we must remember that preserving our physical lives isn’t our utmost priority. We aren’t living for this world but for the Kingdom of God, which Jesus is building right now. We must believe what we say we believe. We must be who Jesus has called us to be: His body, his hands and feet. With the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit living inside us, we must live boldly, focused on the mission Jesus gave us. More than ever, the world needs us to actually be the church.
On the adventure with you,