Our cell phone contacts can reveal one of two things—reformation or hypocrisy. While scrolling through my list of contacts in the spring of 2008, the Holy Spirit showed me my hypocrisy. I could not name a single non-Christian on my cell phone with whom I shared my life on a regular basis. This gap between my public proclamation and personal practice made me a missional hypocrite. Or, to use the contradiction in terms, “half a Christian.”
I loved spending time with Jesus and His people but not with the very ones who still needed to accept His salvation. Through the grace of God, however, I found repentance and a changed cell phone list as God ordained and doors opened. Cell phones do not lie.
In order to become a mission-shaped church, we need not only revival, “a resurrection from spiritual death,” but reformation, “a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.”* Reformation is the fruit of a converted heart as we embrace a prayerful lifestyle with Jesus and His Word. And yet, if we are not coming close to those whom the mission has been designed to reach, we might not be as spiritually mature as we think.
Does your leadership include meaningful engagement with the lost? If not, what “habits and practices” might you need to reform?
—Anthony Wagener Smith, MDIV, is a Pastor and Church Planter in North Port, Florida, United States.
* Ellen White, Selected Messages, book 1 (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1980), 128.