“How many lamps do you need in a lighting store?

“The Church has succeeded in pulling Christians out of the world, out of society and out of community and civic affairs. So often the church is a little island of piety surrounded by an ocean of need. Our preoccupation with the establishment has been so complete that we have been unable to see the ocean, except of course, if there is someone out there we want to recruit for one of our programs. The congregation has become an exclusive little system of satellites orbiting around our programs.”
Richard Halverson, Chaplain U.S. Senate 1981-94.

According to Matthew 5:13-16, the biblical goal of informed church leaders is producing spiritually and emotionally mature Christians who take their place as lights in a dark world and as seasoning to a toxic environment.

They train Kingdom Ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) for a hostile marketplace environment by sending Spirit-empowered messengers to an uninformed society. These heralds of Good News are hope-dealers to a hopeless generation and M.D.’s, Mighty Deliverers, to a sick, dysfunctional and helpless humanity.

Church leaders must produce men and women whose ordinary stations and positions in life are transformed into platforms for ministry. God has empowered His “called out ones” to extend Kingdom principles throughout the earth, leading to the disciplining of all nations.

This cannot be accomplished in one or two ”church” services a week, or even every night of the week. Neither will it be accomplished by a handful of professionals we call clergymen using a venue spotlight lighting up the skies calling people to a building.

“A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and hid it under a bushel, but on a lamp stand so it gives light.” Matthew 5:14.

Visibility is the issue. How many lamps do you need in a lighting store? Not many! However, every Christian is called to shine where it’s dark, but do so without glaring! Remember the old song we used sing in church, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus?” Matthew 11 says that Jesus was a “friend of sinners.” We have a friend in Jesus. I wonder how many sinners would count us as one of their friends?

Your marketplace calling is your lamp stand. Make sure you are not a flashlight, used only in emergencies. Don’t be a strobe light, lots of glitter but not consistent. Mature Christians are searchlights. They are not looking for sin in people’s’ lives, but showing the sinners that God brings across their path every day the way out of darkness, disappoint and despair.

When was your last Divine appointment outside the weekly gathering of your local spiritual family? If it’s been a while, may be your SPS (spiritual positioning system) is not working. If you don’t train and mature your recreated spirit to be sensitive to those around you every day, it remains an infant and you miss so many significant opportunities to ”let your light shine.”

The darkest of places needs only one light to lead everyone else to safety. You may be that one light, but you must leave the safety of the lighting store and search the dark places.