What Every Church Needs To Do - Right Now!

So I get a call from a police officer who works in a large city today. An email had been sent out to all the troops offering part time work at different churches across the city. It seems that the tragedy in Sutherland Springs has really awakened many churches, and for that we are grateful. At the same, however, our hearts ache for our brothers and sisters in Sutherland. 

But permit me to share a word of caution, especially with those of you in the ministry.

I certainly believe we should exert our greatest effort in protecting the flock. Do whatever you can, within your means, to ensure the safety of the lambs under your care. We have advocated that for over eight years.

But, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, allow the present threat of violence hinder you in any way from your calling as a church to minister to the dying world around you. 

The mass-shootings, the massacres, the attacks, they are not going to stop. Any one with any depth of knowledge about these things knows that violence on faith-based property and churches is not going to stop.

But such threats must not in any shape or form deter you from your calling to preach the gospel, make disciples, and build up the the kingdom.

We must not cower to the criminal element that seeks to destroy our way of life - or our gathering to worship. We must move full-steam ahead with the proclamation of the gospel and the making of disciples. We must not fall prey to any of these tactics of the enemy to thwart the spreading of the gospel and the building up of the church.

Fear, by itself, is not a bad thing. It is actually a gift from God that can warn us of impending danger. It tells us, for example, to not jump out of an airplane at 25,000 feet with no parachute. 

And fear also tells us to set measures in place to protect the flock when we gather for worship. This can be a good thing. But, we must never allow fear to stop us from our mission.

Ideally, what all churches should do is proceed with their missions - just do so with caution. This is the practice we have always called for. If you feed the hungry, have some form of security on scene. And any other ministry you initiate, simply add some means of security to it to help decrease the chances of violence.

This Sunday at your church there are two things you need to do: recite the Apostle's Creed, and then have someone sing Tom Petty's song I Won't Back Down. Here, permit me to provide the lyrics for you...


I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen


Well, I won't back down
No, I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down

No, I'll stand my ground
Won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won't back down

I won't back down
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
I won't back down
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down

Well I know what's right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I stand my ground
And I won't back down