Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. We’ve all heard it said before, whether in a movie or in real life. When two people are arguing, one will ask, “You wanna take this outside?” or “let’s take this to the street.” I find this interesting because that is exactly what the church should be doing as a whole. No, I am not promoting physical violence, I am however, demanding spiritual violence. In the world we live in today, spiritual warfare is not just an option anymore, it is a necessity; especially when it comes to evangelism and outreach.
I attend a church in the East County of San Diego called The Dream Center, where our heart beats for the streets and the throwaways. We want the ones that nobody else wants. Do you think that started because the homeless, prostitutes, or the drug addicts walked into our fancy church building one day? Absolutely not. In fact, we don’t even have a building anymore. We are simply taking Jesus to the streets.
For a season, our church services consisted of our team going out to a park in El Cajon and sharing the gospel. We built relationships through consistency, coffee, and donuts. In my opinion, that was one of the greatest times in ministry – we saw brokenness become surrender, and hard hearts soften by the power and love of the Holy Spirit. We have an adopt-a-block ministry on Saturday mornings where we go from door to door, passing out food and offering prayer for those in need. Again, consistency and love are key. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Jesus never said, go and build this elaborate church and look good on social media to all the other churches. He never said compete or upscale one another. He said be a team, and go out and make disciples of men. Go out and love on the orphan and the widow, feed the hungry, and heal the sick.
“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,” – Matthew 28:19
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” – James 1:27
“Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.” – Isaiah 58:7
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” – Matthew 10:8
Please hear my heart when I say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with megachurches, loud music, or fancy media. To be honest, I enjoy attending such services; they are just as important as the small churches and serve a mighty purpose. In fact, I know of a few that actually bus in and escort the homeless to the front row of the sanctuary. Now that is beautiful.
However, what I am saying is that we must not be satisfied as the body of Christ with full church pews, when there are streets full of lost and dying people who don’t feel good enough to attend church. We need to rise up as His bride and say we will not rest until we have reached as many people as humanly possible. We will not settle with seeing children without families because their parent is addicted to drugs. We will not be okay with the single mother or father thinking that they are alone in this journey. We will not stand by as a young boy or girl fights suicidal thoughts alone in their bedroom because they never heard of a hope louder than their parent’s abusive words. We are His vessel, we are His voice, and we are His hands and feet. It all starts with taking it to the streets.
The bible clearly states that we wage war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:12). We need to learn how to fight, serve, and press in. The devil sure knows how to fight dirty, so why is it that the saints aren’t capable of getting their hands and feet a little dirty too? When did we forget the true meaning of the gospel and what it looks like? It’s not clean cut, it’s not easygoing and collective, it’s urgent! We need to war from our knees and go out and use the voice we have been given to relay the truth. We must not be complacent or timid, and we most certainly cannot be lazy.
I always think of it this way: if that was my parent, sibling, child, or loved one out there I would hope and pray that the body of Christ would rise up and be the laborer sent to set them free. Take care of God’s people and he will take care of yours, I know this to be true.
We need to be the generation to rise up and do what we are ALL called to do. You can be called to be a teacher, doctor, stay at home mom, lawyer, police officer, or any of the above and still go out and evangelize. You do not need to be a full time missionary to preach the gospel, go to outreaches, or even minister to your waiter at the restaurant. Start small if you have to, and see where the Lord takes you.
But let us not forget the importance of taking the gospel to the streets; it may be the only church a person ever experiences. May we focus on the importance and the vitality of spiritual warfare and waging war on our knees. We need to go to battle for those who aren’t able to lift up their own two hands, all while letting the never ending love of Jesus flow from our eyes and lips.
Photo courtesy of: Tulsa Dream Center