Are You a Walker, a Talker, or Both?
Some people are talkers, some are walkers, and some people do both. How do you view yourself? Are you a walker, or a talker? Do you have a clue where I am going with this? Not sure. Then without further ado let me describe what I mean by Walkers and Talkers and then conclude my blog by describing the confusion in the modern-day corporate church concerning what constitutes a doer of God‘s word.
It is apparent to me from the lack of church growth in America that the churches view of a ‘doer’ and the biblical definition of a ‘doer’ are completely different, and both God and the church are losing out because of the confusion. Let me begin my topic by saying, I worked at a major university in Nashville, Tennessee for a number of years, and every morning and evening I would see people walking to get their exercise, and I would see people sitting in the dorm patio area shooting the breeze. Who do you think was getting the most benefit out of their activities? Obviously, the walkers for health reasons. Those people on the patio’s were having a good time, but it didn’t do much for their physical health. We know a lot of those same kinds of people. Don’t we? We are friends with many of them. We go to church with a lot of them. In the church we have the walkers, and we have the talkers, but it’s the people who walk the walk that people are attracted to. Why? Because they are doers. People who are doers get the job done while the talkers put off until tomorrow what should have been done today. Walking the walk is very different from talking the talking, but a great number of people in the church are confused about the two and do not realize there is a difference between them. That’s why people who talk the talk very seldom walk the walk because walking the walk ALWAYS cost us more than most people are willing to pay; while talk is cheap. The most successful people in the church and out of the church are those people who are willing to pay the price for their belief. These are people who deliver the goods when everyone else is merely talking about doing the same. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which of these two people groups you want on your side. I have known people who are very good at telling others what their plans are, but they never accomplish anything. What they said sounded good, but a person’s actions speak louder than empty words. James, the brother of Jesus had much to say about this subject in his letter to the church. To sum it up, he said, “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” [James 2:18b]
Now let’s draw a comparison between people who attend church and those who attend sporting events. These two activities are more similar than you might think, but in reality are vastly different, though they shouldn’t be. The biggest difference between the church goer and those who play sports is the church goer seems to think sitting on the bench a couple of days a week is all there is to Christianity. We attend church, ride the pines, get up and go home, and never see one thing worth cheering about during the two hours or so we are present. Folks, church is not suppose be that way. If that was all the spectator expected to see at a sporting venue; that event would be without spectators. People attend sporting events because they expect to see a lot of action. The faster the action the more we enjoy it because that’s the way men are wired. Men want action, we need action. That’s why football is so big in this country. The harder a person gets hit, the more we cheer. People pay a lot of money to attend sporting events because they want to see something spectacular happen while they are there; maybe even an ESPN Top Ten play of the week. Do we go to our churches with the same level of enthusiasm and expectation the spectator takes with him to a sporting event? No we don’t; and that my friend is a shame because the body of Christ is in a real war where there are real victims. It isn’t a game. It’s a real life – life and death struggle for survival. There are approximately 1.5 million people in this world dying every day of every year, year in and year out. You read that right; about 1.5 million people die every day. And how many of them do you suppose have been told the Lord Jesus Christ loves them and wanted to save them before they died? Take a good look at our own communities; people are dying all around us from all kinds of diseases, from wounds received in their spirit that never heal, from sick minds, from drugs, from alcohol, and an inexhaustible list of other ailments because God’s people ride the pines a couple of days a week and don’t believe there is anything God can do for them. Jesus and the early Christians weren’t bench riders. They walked the walk. They were on the front lines of this war taking their licks and enjoying every minute of it. They made things happen. They turned the world upside down in just a few years because that is what Christians have been called to do.
One day, Jesus told His disciples, “As He ran His hands along the horizon, (men) look around you, the fields are always white and ready for harvest. The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few.” [My Paraphrase of John 4:35-38] In the game of Life, there is no such thing as a bench warmer. Everyone plays in the game in whatever capacity God calls them. The church seems to have forgotten what business God is in. In case you are one of them; God is in the soul saving business. You and I can’t save anyone, but He can. The church down through the years has somehow gotten this backwards. We go to church waiting for God to do something, and pray for God to bring the lost to us. That prayer will never be answered because that is not how God works. The laborers job is to bring in the sheep (the lost) and God does the saving and the shearing away of their old lifestyle. In every worldly industry, the laborers always outnumber management by a large number. God’s business operates the same way.
The church has cooled to the point we have started thinking our business is God’s business. It isn’t. His business is the only business in town that matters. The Christian is in business to make money to help God’s earthly kingdom expand. That is the only reason the Christian is in business and if we think differently, we have our priorities backwards. When we get our priorities straight and understand that God’s kingdom comes first, we will be able to stop fretting about our business because our business will be blessed. Otherwise, if we never get our priorities straight, we can expect more of what we are already getting. If we are a Christian, we need to understand the world is the mission field of the church. The church building isn’t our mission field. The church building is not the entrance into heaven as some people think, it is only a place for the Christian to meet that lets us get in out of the weather. It is nothing more than that. And faithfully going to the meeting place twice a week will not get us into heaven. Everything we are and everything we do should be in support of God’s kingdom. Why? Because the world is full of lost people, and Jesus is asking, “Where are the laborers?” So, where do you think God’s laborers are? As you know our churches are not being over-run with new converts. If we are not seeing a steady influx of new converts, then the laborers are not working in God’s fields bringing in the harvest. You know what I think? I think God’s laborers are in the church buildings drawing up plans for another fund-raiser hoping it will keep the church doors open a little longer. Dear God. Folks, God isn’t in the restaurant business, the car wash business, or the yardsale business. He is in the soul saving business. It seems to me the church spends most of its time training people to train more people on how to greet people, take up collections, change baby diapers, and how to form another committee to raise more money for this that or the other. All that is fine if it is really needed, but it isn’t the most important business of the church. When we concentrate all of our efforts inside the church forming another oversight committee to oversee more fundraisers isn’t any different than the laborers in a factory staying in the break room all day exchanging ideas about how to decorate the break room for the new hires even though the company isn’t hiring anyone and hasn’t hired anyone in years and those laborers never going to their assigned work space. Do you honestly think their employers will have a pay check ready for them on pay-day? I think not. How many employers do you know let an employee take off work for years at a time when there is nothing wrong with them and still pay them a regular salary? None that I know of. But that is how the church goer thinks God’s kingdom works. They stay in the church building organizing another group to do this or that while God’s harvest dies in the field year after year. And the sad part of all this is; they fully expect God to reward them with eternal wages for not working toward populating His everlasting kingdom with lost souls. The bible says in [Proverbs 11:30] “He who wins souls is wise.” So, if he who wins souls is wise, what does that make the person who never goes to work in the fields that are always ready for reaping, or tells another person about the Lord God coming to earth and dying as a man so they could be saved from an eternity in hell? Folks, the church has some growing up to do, or we might find we are not among that number when the roll is called up yonder. DThrash