For far too long in many evangelical churches, a pathetic and syrupy attitude of false humility excused, justified and encouraged Christians to say, “Don't look at me! Don't look to man, look to God alone!” Let me make myself clear. It is right, healthy and scriptural to keep our focus, our devotion and ultimate trust, in God and God alone. Men will always be fallible and imperfect; they can disappoint and wound us. The apostle Paul reminds us that the eternal and perfect treasures of God’s Kingdom are carried and lived out in vessels of clay, humanity and human frailty and imperfections (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).
However, the time of ignoring and turning our back on our responsibility and supreme biblical calling to communicate faith, love, forgiveness, purity, generosity and a passionate heart for God and His house to our children and loved ones must come to an end. Without arrogance or pretension, but rather by possessing an inner and acute spiritual sense of dependence on God, the apostle Paul passionately invited young believers who surrounded him, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV). Paul later said to Timothy, “What you have heard from me . . . entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2, ESV).
We must begin to see ourselves this way. When we realize and come to grips with the significance of our lives, the immeasurable possibility of influence that we all carry in us, a cry rises from the depth of our souls toward our God: “O Lord, increase our faith!” Dear reader, let me say it to you this way: Every one of us is to be contagious!
Let me ask you this question: What do your values, passions and priorities communicate to those who are watching you walk and talk in your everyday life? Let me ask you straight up, if I hang around with you, learn from you and imitate you, what will I “catch”? You know as well as I do that some men’s and women’s faith, love, joy and passion is communicative. To be near them does us good, inspires us, heals us and reconciles us with the human race! We love being around them and thank God for their faith that produces hope and propels us toward new heights of desires, commitments and possibilities in God.
Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.