I’m just saying

We need to understand the new culture in which we are placed. Notice I said understand. Not be intimidated. Not feel as though we have to give in to get along. Not wave a white flag in cultural submission and just hope that we would be thrown a few institutional crumbs to maintain our existence.

We need to understand post-modernism with its embrace of mystery and its cafeteria style spirituality. We need to understand that there are multiple generations since the baby boomers who are deeply disillusioned with the church and doubt its ability to be about any significant cultural change. We need to understand that there is a spiritual relativism and pluralism that no longer grants to the once dominant Christian church any home field advantage.

We need to understand and have confidence that Jesus is, in fact, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The same Jesus that conquered sin and transcended death is the same Jesus that can bring transformative life to the hungry and searching today. The same Jesus that transformed the disciples, turning them from a frightened and hiding mob into a force that swept out of Jerusalem and transformed their world stands ready to empower disciples today if we will open ourselves up to that kind of power.

Where is Christ’s transformative power needed today? Transformation suggests a need to move from something TO something. What do we need to let go of? What do we need to embrace?

It is a matter of…

From Sunday’s sermon: “It is not a matter of bigger choirs, more comfortable pews or chairs, better stain glass, or recapturing the great preaching of the past. It is not a matter of doing church better, bigger, or in a flashier fashion. It is not a question of championing robes or no robes, hymns or praise music, paper or technology.

It is a matter of embracing humility and a servant’s lifestyle instead of cultural prerogatives and status. It is a matter of leaving judgment up to God and embracing a compelling love and service to all. It is a matter of being willing to listen to those that we want to reach and then daring to rethink the ways we minister so that we can authentically, relationally, and intentionally share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

What is it about “bigger, better, and flashier” that seems so important to us? How does cultural status and position in the community become a goal instead of only vehicles to greater desired ends – witness and service? How does the church move from defender of the status quo to full participant in the Holy Spirit’s transformative new work? What are YOU looking for from the church? What does the church need to hear?