5 minute read; 7 minute speech time
Value People the Key to Reclaiming the Church Mission
John Maxwell argues that if the church is to reclaim its mission, it must first value people. He states that churches often focus on maintaining their buildings and programs while neglecting the people they are supposed to serve. Maxwell believes that by valuing people above all else, the church can make a difference in the world. Whether you agree with Maxwell, his argument is compelling and sure to get you thinking about the church's role in society today.
The church has lost its way because it has stopped valuing people.
The church was once a beacon in the night, a pillar of strength for those looking for solace and overcoming sin. Yet, somewhere along the way, we began prioritizing politics and programs over people. We stopped valuing individuals, especially the poor, marginalized, broken, and weak. I believe the church has lost its way because it has stopped seeing people as essential and shifted its focus toward politics to maintain power. We must return to respecting and serving people- believing that we are all created in His image- if we want to recapture the spirit of the original mission found within our ancient texts.
The church's mission is to reach out to people and help them find salvation.
As the church looks to serve God and others, we must value people above all else. Our mission is to reach out to those in need by coming under them with unconditional love and compassion. We must serve others to serve God, providing opportunities for those within our reach to find the salvation they long for. It's not about collecting members—it's about genuinely caring for the needs of each individual and helping them discover a saving grace that can transform their lives forever.
The key to reclaiming the church mission is to start valuing people again.
If we want to reclaim the church's mission, one of the most important keys is actively adding value to every person we encounter. We must live out our good values and share them with others. Remember that value trumps law. We must actively seek it and focus on investing in others. That's how we reclaim our mission: by valuing the community of people, we come in contact with to build and bless.
When we value people, we can see them as God sees them.
Jesus, being the epitome of both grace and mercy, maintained that all individuals - regardless of who they were or what they had done - were of infinite value. Jesus did not judge in the world's ways; He instead chose to uphold his teachings, teaching those around Him to do the same. We must adopt this standard to see others as Jesus sees them truly. By valuing people above all else - their character, background, or experiences - we will build a relationship between God and them as Jesus intended. Our calling and responsibility are to show God's love to others through understanding and kindness. Valuing every person we encounter allows us to see them through Jesus's narrow gate, which invites us all in despite our faults and failings.
As we value people, we will be able to love them unconditionally.
When we truly value people, connecting on a deeper level and recognizing their worth, we can extend ourselves much more meaningfully. We are no longer limited by our assumptions and can see them through God's eyes. Our influence comes by actively adding value to those we contact. We become attractive to people by living good values as scripture teaches us. We transform people by sharing those very same values. We do all this unconditionally.
When we love unconditionally, we can lead them into a relationship with Christ.
We have a unique opportunity to love people without reservations or conditions. By serving people and coming under them, rather than attempting to lord over them, we can influence their lives and encourage behaviors reflective of Christ's teachings. When we practice unconditional love, adding value and worth to people, individuals become more open to a relationship with Christ. Only through serving others can we hope to exhibit our commitment to Christian values and make it easier for those around us to accept our offer of friendship in Jesus' name.
The church has lost its way because it has stopped valuing people. The church's mission is to reach out to people and help them find salvation, but we can't do that if we don't value them. The key to reclaiming the church mission is to start valuing people again. When we value people, we will be able to see them as God sees them: precious and worthy of love. As we value people, we will be able to love them unconditionally- just as Christ loves us. When we love unconditionally, we can lead them into a relationship with Christ. Who in your life do you need to add value to that they might experience the unconditional love of Jesus?
Barry G. Johnson, Sr.
An Evangelist at the Church of Christ which meets in Brookfield, IL.