Last month, Pastor Randy provided an insightful list of “The Top 10 Things We Should Not Do” in response to the challenges facing Christianity and Faith Lutheran in today’s world. One person expressed thanks for the list, while suggesting that it should be paired with a list of what we should do. She wrote, “It is a great thing to define what NOT to do, but I’m convinced the Spirit is more proactive than defensive.”
We couldn’t agree more, so here is a matching list of “The Top 10 Things We Should Do.” It comes with a few stipulations, though:
a. there are many more ways to act in faith and I would not claim that these are the top 10.
b. these all reflect my own struggles to live faithfully and witness boldly. They are not meant to be demands or criticisms, but Biblical calls for us to pursue together as God’s people.
c. because they are Biblical calls, I listed a Bible verse that informs each one. Here they are:
Top 10 Things We Should Do
1. Trust God—it is a constant temptation to think that God’s Kingdom depends on our efforts. It doesn’t. We are called to be faithful in ministry, but God will see that His Kingdom endures.
“God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” I Corinthians 1:25
2. Be Bold, not Timid—When we face opposition or criticism, it is natural to withdraw or doubt. But Jesus is Lord! We can and should have the confidence of our convictions.
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel; it is the power of God for salvation…” Romans 1:16
3. Prioritize Our Spiritual Health—Receiving Word and sacrament in worship, prayer, Bible study and Christian support are essential for our faith to be strong and resilient.
“Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
4. Pray—God wants us to share everything with Him in prayer. Prayer should not be just a list of requests, but deep conversation with God about every aspect of life.
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
5. Stay Anchored—In the face of constant change and challenge, we must stay rooted in the Bible, the Lutheran Confessions and the Great Tradition of Christian faith.
“Continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 3:14-15
6. Recognize What Is Really at Stake— Christianity is not just a leisure time activity or hobby for those who are interested. The Gospel concerns salvation from sin, death and the devil.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16
7. Take the Great Commission Personally—Evangelism is too important to be left up to the professionals. Jesus wants you to be his witness.
“You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit …and you will be my witnesses…” Acts 1:5,8
8. Innovate and Adapt—Church traditions have great value and some should be preserved, but, unlike the Gospel itself, very few church practices are of ultimate importance.
“I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.” I Corinthians 9:22-23
9. Define and Defend the Non-Negotiables—These days, everything from the Lordship of Jesus to the meaning of the cross to God’s design for marriage is being debated, but core Biblical and Christian truths cannot be compromised.
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!” Galatians 1:8
10. Risk Being Just a Little Weird for Jesus’ Sake—Creepy fanatics are not helpful, but holding to our convictions, even when it distinguishes us from our neighbors, is a vital witness.
“I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” II Corinthians 12:10
Do you have other ideas of what should be on this Top 10 list? What challenges or promises do you hear in these 10? What might they be calling us as Faith Lutheran to do or to be? How is God calling you to respond? Let’s keep the conversation going as we strive to be faithful in this time and place where God has called us to serve.
Grace and peace to you,