Somebody recently said the congregation and denomination I serve as a pastor are, "sinking ships." He points to demographics; it's time to pray. He points to the numerous studies (they can easily be found) to shore up his argument; its time to turn to scripture. He pointed to a lack of people at a particular program; it's time to invite people just as Jesus did, "to come and see." I asked who he invited, sadly I already knew the answer; he'd invited "nobody".
Anxiety and fear are real. They overwhelm and paralyze church workers like the brother who said we're in, "sinking ships"; I say listen to Paul and Jesus. Yes, we are sinking; but Jesus is not. We aren't the only ones with a mission and ministry, Jesus has a mission and ministry in our world.
We need to remember that God's mission is primary to any mission that we might have. He came to heal, preach, forgive, challenge, die, and finally to rise. When we know our part in that mission we catch fire. When we are disconnected from Jesus mission we go dim or worse yet sink in doubt and despair. Paul says that we aren't meant to lament, we are to be light,
"For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8-10, NRSV)Jesus came into the world brining a new vision and a new hope. The old order of the world is broken. People live in sickness in spirit and body. We need all things to be made new. We need a savior. We need Jesus.
John 9:1-41 details Jesus ministry to one blind man. He and his disciples saw the man. Jesus' disciples asked him a karmic question, "Who sinned, him or his parents that he was born blind. " There must have been some cause in their minds. Jesus probably shook his head saying, neither one. "He's blind so that God's work's might be revealed in him." Jesus made a paste with spit and dirt and put it on his eyes. Then he told the man to go wash in the pool. He opened the man's eyes.
The neighbors were stunned, he could see. The scribes and Pharisee's expressed their disbelief and even disgust that they hadn't authorized such a healing after all it was the Sabbath. Jesus didn't need their permission and he doesn't need ours either. He came to do ministry. The time is right to jump in with him.