When the world started burning

It is never the right time to plant a church.
Is is always the right time to plant a church.

Those two statements are both true at the same time. The timing for planting a church will never be perfect. There are always easier, more attractive and less expensive things to do. There are always reasons to wait, always reasons to stay, always reasons to take up another burden…

Unless you believe that people all around you are living and dying without the eternal hope that is offered to them, unless you believe that the Name above every name is not receiving the recognition and the honour He deserves, then it is always the right time to plant a church.

As long as people are living and dying outside the reach of the embodied witness of a faith community, as long as His Name has been confused, polluted, disregarded or forgotten, it is always the right time to plant a church.

Our processes, fears, doubts, and (quite frankly) our self-absorption at a church or personal level confuse that sense of urgency, however, and they often do so in the name of “wisdom”. The world is burning and we’re waiting, wondering if and when we should jump into the fire and pull people to safety. The question itself is privileged and inhumane. If we truly believe that men and women, fellow humans, are dying, headed to an eternity separated from the God who made and loves them, what right do we have to do anything else but everything we can to carry that message of salvation to them?

“Speaking of dreams, screaming out fears
looking for ways to fulfil all our yearnings
Thinking through answers, waiting for years
that’s where we were when the world started burning”