Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Feed the Sheep

I think the modern church is in trouble, and I don’t think you’ll find a whole lot of people to disagree with me. We are seeing a generation of adults now that have no point of reference to the church at all. Old traditions, hierarchical structures, backbiting and hypocrisy don’t exactly make anyone feel connected when they do happen to come.
Of course, every church is different, and this by no means is intended for all of them. The “church” to which I’m referring in this blog post is a particular community of faith in one particular place (e.g. Greater Mount St. Helen Church or Sweet Sarah Bapticostal Tabernacle). How much of what we do in church is about tradition versus the Gospel message? All traditions are not bad, but that doesn’t make them necessary either. There are things that Jesus Christ expressly commanded us to do, but much of what we do is steeped in personal preference and routine.
I just want you to think. Everything isn’t wrong, but is it necessarily right? Where do the people in high positions sit in your church: among the congregation or up front on a pedestal? Now, compare that to how Jesus Christ interacted with the people. What would happen if the pastor decided to move the scripture reading from the beginning of service to the end? How many noses would be bent out of shape over the change in the order of service? How many “this is how we’ve always done it” statements would you hear?
We have to be more progressive if we expect to capture the lost generation and those after it. I say progressive, but it really is a return to the basics. We often ask ‘What Would Jesus Do?’, but we can pick up the Bible and read about what He actually did. What DID Jesus do? How can we bring more of that into our churches? Even if we want to keep certain traditions, how can we morph those traditions into something people right off the street can understand as it relates to the Gospel message?
At the end of the day, if we have not delivered the Word of God and introduced our guests to Jesus Christ, we have failed.  If the lost stay lost and are comfortable being lost, we have wasted precious time.  It doesn’t matter how exciting and eventful church was that day; we missed the point of why we were there.
John 21:17 (KJV) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

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