Much of our lives are spent reacting to things. Something happens and then we react to it based upon many variables. For instance, when we become sick we react by going to the doctor. When we become overweight we might react by going to a gym. When we have marital struggles we could react by seeking out a marriage counselor.
My contention is that being proactive can reduce the stress and uncertainty or living a reactive or even an over reactive life. For instance, seeking out a proactive health lifestyle can reduce the need for doctors and medicine.
In church planting/ministry, we see much reactivity. We minister to many who wait till they are at the end of their rope and then seek God out of desperation. A person may attend our Sunday service hoping that the message will give them direction for the particular problem they are dealing with...and it often does.
What if we became more proactive in our discipleship? What if our visions, missions and programming became resolute in doing what Ephesians 4:12 calls "Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ."?
One competing worldview of our consumer mindset that tends to rebel against the idea of investing resources until there is a notable reason to do so. Yet to experience 'abundant life living' we must be willing to invest into an invisible and even subversive Kingdom.
Imagine a church full of Christ-followers that was so proactively equipped and discipled that when trouble came it needed less reaction or over-reacting but could dig into a tool-belt that is well stocked by the God who promises that His Word prepares for every good work we can encounter:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
I believe the best time to become proactive is in the onset of a new church but if you find yourself deep into an endeavor yet still wanting to get out of the cycle of reactivity then the best time to start would be now. What must we change to do this? How do we need to reallocate the time/talents/treasure of our ministry to begin to see the fruit of proactive ministry?