Friday, March 09, 2007

Which church would you choose?

A regular email I receive from posed three sobering questions recently:

1. If you weren't on staff at your church, would you worship there? I think we've all served at churches that we wouldn't worship at. (I know I have). And many times we are in the process of transitioning them into a church that we'd love to attend. If you're in that position right now, this is still a great question to ask. Why wouldn't you want to worship there? And what is keeping other people away from the church that you serve?

2. If you didn't know ANYTHING about Jesus, what would you know about him after a normal weekend at your church? Think about your service yesterday. If you didn't know squat about Jesus yesterday morning; what would you know about Him or think about Him today? This is a question that we need to ask each and every week. How does your church communicate Jesus?

3. If you had a loved one who didn't know Christ, and they had one week left to live, would you take them to your church or another? In this last question, it goes one level deeper. How's your church doing at communicating the main message? Truthfully; would you take your dying unsaved mother to a service at your church or another church across town? How clear is the gospel presented in your church?

Those are great questions, not just for church staffers, but for anyone to ask about the community of faith in which God has called them to share life.

The consumer mindset so prevalent in our culture has infiltrated the thinking of many Christians so that rather than investing themselves and their resources to help their church become more formative, caring, and missional, they "jump ship" for another church where "their needs are better met."

I am very thankful for the church to which God has called me. I do not hesitate to invite people to our celebration gatherings and LIFEGroups. Yet, I am painfully aware of how far we are from the "beautiful bride" Jesus longs for, and how far we have to go if we are going to effectively model and pass authentic Christianity to our children and grandchildren.

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing the dying church of America is whether it is able and willing to make the changes necessary to be incarnational to future generations in this rapidly changing world. I am committed to spending whatever years God gives me to that process.

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