Somewhere in America this Sunday there is a church where light sines through stained glass on to empty pews. This church is not alone, but actually finds itself in a club with wide sweeping membership. The other churches in this club also have glass as beautiful as the pews are empty, but this emptiness is not their only mark of commonality. In fact, many of these churches once boasted great influence in both numerical attendance an national prominence. These are the First Baptist Churches, the Calvary Baptist Churches, and the Immanuel Baptist Churches that have tremendous history and legacy.
These churches have kept the Cooperative Program funded, and they fueled the missionary enterprise by supplying both the finances and the missionaries. My heart is greatly burdened for the unreached peoples of our world, my heart is greatly burdened for the regions of our own nation in need of church planing, and my heart is absolutely burdened for the mission of Christ. Because of this passion, some ask why I do not pack my bags to head overseas to bring Good News to those who have not heard. Some also ask why I do not move to the northeast or northwest regions of the United States to plant a gospel centered church. The answer is simple. First, let me say that I am called to both of these things and have dedicated my life to such work, but let me explain why I am doing them by going into the legacy churches here.
Read the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:14-15:
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preached except they be sent? Even as it is written, ‘how beautiful are the feet of them that bring the Good News.'” (ESV)
The Senders Are Sleeping
The fact that people in the far reaches of the earth have not heard drives me to the church described in the opening of this blog. The fact that there are churches that need to be planted in the unchurched regions of North America drives me to make sure sun through stained glass never falls on an empty pew again. These churches are the senders, but they are sleeping. Unless we wake them, we will not accomplish the mission set before us. I will go and wake the senders with the sound of an alarm from Heaven, “How shall they preach unless they be sent?”
Wake up oh church! For our Lord is risen, and shall come again to judge the works of the just and the unjust. Let us not be found idle when he has gifted and equipped us with everything we need. May it never be said again that the senders are sleeping!
-Brayden L. Buss