Sunday, June 05, 2011

Are we training ambulance drivers or paramedics?

I read an excellent thought the other day in D. Kevin Brown's new book, Rite of Passage for the Home and Church. Kevin thinks we have been training people to be ambulance drivers but we need to train them to be paramedics....
As pastors, we have inadvertently trained our people to be ambulances for the gospel. The bring the lost to the hospital for the sin-sick, where the professionals, the doctors of the spirit, will treat and fix them. ...We've got to train our people to be paramedics with the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ instead of ambulances just carrying people to church. (Rite of Passage for the Home and Church, pp. 72-73)
Like all analogies, there are some holes in this one but the point is well taken. The Great Commission is often lived out by inviting people to church to hear the preacher tell someone about Jesus. The problem? The Great Commission does not say...

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you invite people you know really well to come to church. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

It says that we should make disciples and that is something we can't subcontract out. Think about your gathering of the church. Are you getting training as a paramedic or an ambulance driver?


Unknown said...


I have been a part of home/telephone church since 2003. We have been attending an OPC in our are since Oct. of last year. I must say that this seems to be the norm, bring people in and not so much encouragement to be bold and witness.
It's subtle, but none the less.

Arthur Sido said...

Mark, that stems from some of the leading voices in that wing of Reformed Christianity who are vehemently opposed to "lay people" engaging in Gospel proclamation.