Of all the Avengers characters, my wife says that I’m most like Ironman…and it’s not because of my movie star looks (haha…). Specifically she is referring to how Ironman quickly analyzes a problem and confidently and convincingly provides a strategy to address the problem. Yet in implementing the solution, a host of unforeseen complications come up that demand the assistance of many others in unexpected ways. And in addressing these unforeseen complications it is quickly apparent that Ironman cannot fight alone; only together can the Avengers find victory.
As a church we are Avengers. Over the past two weeks a few specific incidents have reminded me of the importance of the body of Christ. I have been saved time and energy by others’ discernment, had my eyes opened to others’ needs, received much-needed encouragement in weariness, and so on. Personally in the past weeks I have seen the indispensable importance of the body of Christ in so many ways.
But if we are Avengers, who is our Thanos? What does victory look like? Is it simply to fill Sunday services? The church is to make disciples. At Wellspring we have to remain focused on helping each and every man, woman, and child grow into full maturity in Jesus Christ. Recently in our home group leadership training I stressed the need to not only shepherd and care for each member but to disciple potential leaders for the future. Jesus focused in his ministry not only on shepherding and caring for the crowds but also in developing and discipling a few. In the big picture for Wellspring, the critical health of our church will grow out of how effective we are in raising the quality of discipleship in our church. As long as these structures remain weak, then we will struggle with all aspects of the life of the church; as we strengthen these structures, then our witness to the world can grow strong.
The American church is a mile wide but an inch deep. But the only way that the church will grow deeper is through our faithfulness in making disciples. Together.