We (the contributors and millennials in general) are going to be characterized and demonized as individualistic and self-centered, and that is not completely off base as I will readily admit. BUT, it should be noted that we are not here to promote a change in the church because it is what we want, and we aren’t whining because we don’t like the music, or we think the preacher is a gas-bag who says we can’t do what we feel like because it’s bad. It’s that we see the church as having so much more potential to be a strong, moving presence in the world (especially the United States where it suffers the LEAST amount of persecution). We see the Body as being so large and powerful, but recognize that while the Head is thinking the arms and legs seem to be paralyzed and atrophied (take a look at the 3 part series Reactivating the Body (part 1 of 3) Jared published last week).
We are going to be accused of being individualistic because of what we are saying, but I welcome that. And I want those who write us off as individualists to give that word a new, temporary definition that applies to what we (the Rogues) are charging those like us to do. We are not individuals looking inward toward ourselves, looking for what can be done to benefit us. We are individuals taking it UPON OURSELVES to do something. To speak up. To be the first to extend the hand toward the community. To reach that community one individual at a time. We are one striving to meet the needs of the many (yeah, dropped a little Spock wisdom on ya’).
Why do I welcome the accusations of individualism? Because I don’t want to forget that I should make it my mission to put OTHERS first. To put myself LAST. Not because I’m promised a reward in heaven if I do, but because that is the work Christ (the guy who PAID for my admission to heaven) asked me (commanded me) to do. Because to think of others lost, lonely or in need should make my heart ache so unbearably that I can’t help but put them first.
We say the church needs an overhaul, and that we need to focus more on individual (oooh, he said a bad word) believers taking the brunt of the work the Body should be doing for the Kingdom. It’s not that the church doesn’t do good things; it’s that a vast majority of believers stop focusing on the Kingdom and its needs once we walk out the church door on Sunday. We forget that we house the Holy Spirit. We forget that we literally CARRY the church with us. We forget that we are seen (believe it or not) as representatives of Christ. The other people we see at church know our faith and have shared in its power, what good does it do for the Kingdom to end our focus when we leave?
So for those who think we put too much focus on the individual, remember this. One person working is 100% more productive than thousands of people doing nothing.