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Archive for October, 2008

Worth your time.

I know, there are a million new blogs out there every day, and most of them are not worth clicking on, much less reading.  But my friend has just started blogging and he is worth reading.  He has a way of putting things that is very insightful and will leave you thinking.

Check it out: http://remarkablycalm.wordpress.com/

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The shift from evangelism.

My friend Norm, who is a little older than I am, gave me a little historical perspective in his comment to my post “Taking It To the Streets”.  I was talking about the need for us Christians to get back to learning about evangelism instead of learning how to be cool so the world will like us and come to our building for our programs and concerts.  “Hey, we listen to the same music you do and watch the same movies, we even swear and dress like you… will you come to our church now?”

He recalled the emphasis in the past on evangelism.  The seminars, conferences, books and training focused on teaching people to share their faith one on one.  You can debate the efficiacy of those individual techniques, but you had to admire the fact that their focus was on teaching and encouraging Christians to share their faith with words and personal encounters, not just being cool so your neighbor wants to be like you.

Today it seems like the emphasis is not on the “layperson”, but on the ministers of the church, and the goal is not to teach and encourage people to share their faith but to have the kind of church that people will want to come to so the professional minister can wow the seeker with the cool sermon, cool music, cool building and cool programs.  Instead of making the Gospel relevant to the lost, we want to make the church relevant to the consumer.

I’m pumped about the Transformed conference coming up and am glad that there is someone out there trying to encourage Christians to live and share their faith.  With all the programs out there dedicated to teaching the church to look more like the world, the Transformed folks are a breath of fresh air.

Who knows, maybe the pendulum will swing back and we will focus on sharing the Gospel again, not just being an attractive commodity in a consumer world.

Thanks, Norm, for putting things in historical context, perhaps another Great Awakening will come as people see the church not as a consumer destination but a community of believers who have good news to share.

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You hate his wife?

They love Jesus, but they hate the church.

Um, isn’t that like saying that you like me, but can’t stand my wife (my bride)?  If that’s how you felt about my bride, I don’t think you would really like me that much, no matter how much lip service you gave me in a Barna poll.

Love me, love my wife, even if she is not perfect (though she is!).

Love Jesus, love his church, even if she is not perfect (and she’s not!).

Sure, there is plenty about the church that needs fixin’, but those who say that they love Jesus but not the church must not really understand what Jesus is all about: the friend of imperfect people who have been saved by grace.  Her dress might be tattered, but she’s still his bride.

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