Some might think the church to which I’ve been led to pastor is the kind of place God only sends failures and amateurs. However, what I believe is that God has given me an incredible opportunity to start fresh with a paid-for building, a few people who are finally desperate, and no deacons (which is a joy I can’t describe). I am moving into a parsonage that is not much better than some places I’ve seen in Africa; I’ve taken a 40% cut in pay; yet even my wife is supportive and excited about what the Lord is going to do.
I said all that to say something else. One of the things that I want to do with this congregation is build a place where Christians – not the unregenerate world – can feel at home. This will not be a “seeker-friendly” church, but a place where followers of Christ will WANT to come…because this will be the corporate recharging place, the place of recovery, the place of strengthening, the place of love, for those seeking with their whole heart to follow the commands of Christ and seek the lost. This will be a place where those who have taken up the cross and have followed Jesus can call a temporary home.
In recent discussions with other pastors we were talking about why it is that people just don’t attend church like they used to. To make a long story short, my opinion is that for many Christians they just don’t see the value in gathering together and corporate worship. Many find that it is more of a stress to come to church than it is a shot in the arm. Therefore, church needs to become more of a place where a believer WANTS to go, rather than be forced to feel obligated. Going to church shouldn’t be a burden, but a place to unload your burdens – or at least find others willing to share the load. (I’m going to quote myself on that last sentence.)
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I am so with you in all you said and love to see people step out in faith – I am afraid that the online church and youtube messages will become the trend but is it really church if people don’t actually interact in fellowship and worship. Reality TV isn’t real but an edited version for the masses, I figure online church and messages will be the same, edited for the masses and far from meeting the reality of people’s needs for fellowship. One question I have asked myself and ask in my book (shameless promotion for a book that has no publisher lol) how can we call it “seeker friendly” then only appeal to those outside the church, aren’t we seekers all our lives or do we no longer count once we follow Christ. I know it wasn’t intended but it is a pretty arrogant statement to call “them” seekers and “us” not seekers as if we somehow have it all figured out.
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Oh, wow! “Reality TV Church”! You’ve gotten the wheels of my imagination just spinning!!! Don’t be surprised if you see that in a comic strip soon!
My usual fee is $1 Canadian per idea ($0.70 American) but I will wave that hefty fee for you – every once in a while I get paid a compliment the exchange rate is similar – Americans only have to pay me 70% of a compliment lol
Ha! Ha! Ha! Seriously, my brain is doing flips over this idea!
Sadly that’s the experience of way too many people. It took me a long time to find a church that felt right for me and also a long time for me to be eager and hungry for what I would find at this church.
eager and hungry – i think that is the best way to meassure a church from music to preaching to small groups – do they leave me desparately wanting more not because they lack in what they are doing but because they excel at making me see how exciting it is to know God and how much more i want to discover
I absolutely agree! It just occurred to me to share this with you. It’s from the “Welcome” Page of the church where I’m attending now. I read this before going and it really moved me. The first time I went, I wanted to write these words down because if anyone had said anything to me, I was going to pull out the words and ask, “Is this real? Do you really mean this?” But I didn’t, and I didn’t have to. The words were printed on the order of service…”Believe this simple truth: God loves you, no matter who you are. No matter how you have lived your life. No matter your age. No strings attached. At St. John’s we believe in God’s transforming love. Like Jesus, we believe God’s Spirit working through us can give life meaning and purpose. Our greatest desire is that you experience how much God loves you and wants to be a part of your life.” It only took one visit to know that they really did mean all of these things. I want everybody to have a place like that.
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