I use to think of Jesus a certain way and I’m finding more ‘voice’ to my views through N. T. Wright and others in the postmodern genre. Jesus is the one who tries to teach His followers the best possible way to live. Following Jesus doesn’t mean that things will be wonderful in my life, or that everything will work out. Following Jesus doesn’t mean I have to hold on to a set of beliefs and/or dogma. Following Jesus means living life the way He lived it. When I don’t, basically, I am swimming upstream from how life really is and operates. When I choose to live some other way, then I am trying to live a lie. Jesus _is_ the truth. He _is_ the Life. Any other way basically says, I don’t believe that Jesus knew the best way to live. What he calls me to is substandard to another way to live. This has huge implications to how I live and how I lead. It effects my view of sin and why sin is so destructive. Sin becomes trying to live by swimming against the flow of how life really is. Sin is denying the reality of life and living. Sin is trying to find a “new” way to discover abundant life. It just doesn’t work. …more later….
There are times when you simply have to let go. Although letting go is seldom a simple thing. For the past several weeks I’ve been evaluating my spiritual life especially in the area of prayer. I’m finding, that in order to discover a greater sense of God’s grace I simply have to let go of other things. For me, the most precious item in my life is time. Yet, this is the one thing that gets chipped away little by litte. Before I know it, my time has been spent and I can’t get it back. In order for me to deepen my relationship with God, I’m finding that I must spend time with God. Even though I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years and have been a pastor for over around 15 years I always tried to ’speed’ up my relationship with God by trying to spend ‘quality’ rather than ‘quanity’ time with God. Now, I’m discovering that the only quality time is quantitative time. For our culture it is difficult to let go of things. It is difficult to free up ourselves. We want to squeeze everything we can out of life. When we do we are making a statment and a choice. I’m finding that in order to grab onto God, I must let go. Letting go is a difficult thing.
Church Marketing Sucks: No Need to Impress An interesting website that I plan on mining some more. Living in our current culture, I find I keep osolating between living in, accepting and “doing life” like the culture suggests and living ‘against’ the culture. One good thing, I believe, is being free and brave enough to question the culture in which we live. Too often we simply accept the ‘wisdom of the age’ or the ‘thoughts of the culture.’ Most of the time this might now be a very big deal. However, when the subject is the church, then we must ask questions of our culture and place our agendas before God. It seems as if this website is questioning some of the ‘common sense’ of our culture. This is a good thing.
Proably not good to think outloud…or blog out loud…or whatever. Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to understand why people don’t go to church. My thoughts weren’t so much about the people who don’t know Christ, but rather those who do and say they love him. It is interesting to me on why some don’t come.
I don’t want to judge their commitment to Christ. I just long to understand. The book “The Shapping of Things to Come” have some interesting comments about church following an “attactional” model. They say that is not biblical. I must admit, it is easy to fall into an attractional model. We try to figure out what would cause people to come…things like updated music, better musicians, more programs, a more inviting ‘space’ and then try to do things to attract people.
However, I wonder, for those of us who consider ourselves strong Christians and know that Jesus makes a difference in how we live from day to day, are the ‘attractional’ things what make us want to come to church, or is there something deeper. I believe there is something deeper. The authors of the book I’m ready say that the church needs to go into the community and be missional rather than being attracting.
I can see their point. While I’ve heard and have even said, that you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian (after all, it is what you do with Jesus), yet, I can’t help but wonder about those who have been touched by God’s grace through Jesus and who decide not to support the church. Yes, some might bring up that it is more imporant to be in ministry, but I wonder if those making this argument are in any type of ministry.