‘Because it’s easier to birth a baby than it is to raise the dead’

This was the answer a speaker gave at a recent seminar held by a group that pours money into planting new churches.

The question? “There are so many dying churches, why not pour money into them?”

Now, take just a second and read the opening line again.

The church exists to make disciples by reaching the lost and teaching them to live for Jesus until they grow to a point in their walk where they are ready to make other disciples.

Jesus brought love, peace, mercy, second chances, etc., to the communities He visited. He gave attention to the hurting, the lonely and the neglected.

One who truly follows Him today will do the same.

But sadly, in most every community in America, most churches are social clubs. We exist for us, pour our offerings into collection plates every Sunday, so we can have a good security system to protect our building that sits empty 95 percent of the week and go about our business as if we are followers of One who looked out for Himself.

Which is why the gentleman at the seminar said, “Because it’s easier to birth a baby than it is to raise the dead.”

I have been in the delivery room twice. Although I have witnessed the physical births of both of my children, I have never seen a dead person pulled from the grave.

Drive around town. Think about the impact each church you pass is having on our city. Think about the impact it has on its own block. What do you witness more times than not? A cathedral that serves the same purpose as the local cemetery-a gathering place for the dead.

Which brings this question to you: is your church birthing babies or is it a place for the dead?

How do I know? It’s simple.

Are people coming to Jesus and being baptized? Are people being loved?

Do people at your church spend more time feeding the hungry at the Community Kitchen or pursuing their own hobbies and interests? Do they reflect the heart of our Savior in everyday life?

If not, why continue pouring efforts and money into something that is accomplishing nothing?

Why not look around and find a church that is impacting our community for Jesus and pour your efforts and money into that faith community?

Just as was the case with Lazarus, Jesus is still calling the dead from a grave! Pulling them out of cemeteries and placing them into community.

But just as Lazarus had to be obedient to the call of Jesus to “come out of that grave”, you must answer the call from the voice of Jesus today. The only other choice is to remain among the dead.

Is it time for you to do something courageous, something that requires faith, and jump ship?

There’s nothing honorable about riding the Titanic to the ocean floor.

Joey Haynes is a follower of Jesus, married way out of his league, has two of the coolest children in the universe and is blessed to work with an amazing community of believers known as The Church at Rome.