Church Life

A Little Understanding – A Culturally Relevant Landscape and Décor

When you hear we need to make sure our church service is culturally relevant, be excited, but approach it with cautious optimism. Both the Christ follower and those who are trying to find out what this Christ following thing is all about understand everything in terms of the culture in which they live. This makes a culturally relevant church necessary. The problem only comes when cultural relevance becomes cultural dominance that dictates the message presented so that the ways of the world become the ways of the church…

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A Little Understanding – The Protective Wrap

I have used the words “protective covering” to describe the roof, but why have I chosen to create a whole different section and name for the walls when they serve the same protective function?  The walls that frame the outside of the building share many of the design basics as the roof, and yet I call it a “wrap,” not a “covering.” The answer is simple. There is one thing that we find in all protective wraps but in very few protective coverings: windows and doors. Necessary but counterproductive, they invite the outside in.

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A Little Understanding – A Poor Protective Cover

What does keeping the outside, outside, look like in the life of a Christ follower? There was at one time a very thick line between us and them. I don’t even like using the term us and them because it suggests that the “us (Christ followers) are somehow better than the “them” (those who haven’t made the choice to follow Christ). Us and them are really the same when it comes to measuring who is better. All of us and all of them have sinned and all of us and all of them have fallen short of the mark.

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A Little Understanding – What Every Floor Plan Needs

Now for a language lesson. With the invention of texting, English, the most difficult language in the world to learn, has been simplified. Words have been shortened to sound-a-like letters. Phrases have been replaced by acronyms or initialisms. Capital letters and punctuation are things of the past while correct spelling and grammar result more from luck than a concerted effort to follow the rules of the language. For us old people, this new English is just as difficult to grasp as the new math.

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A Little Understanding – Stuck in the Entryway

If something affects the individual Christ follower, it almost always affects the collective of Christ followers. The blur of needs, wants, and extras have made it difficult for churches to encourage maturing. With the world’s way of operating just outside the entryway, and Satan selling his snake oil fixes, the church has become more focused on talents and hard work than on God and His call. We do what we know and we work at it the hardest, trying to make God happy. We may not realize it, but the world has seen the church this way for a long time. Those outside the entryway think the church is a bunch of people trying their hardest to do stuff that no one truly understands to make an angry God happy.

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A Little Understanding – We Need More of God

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17 (NIV)

A Little Understanding – The Entryway isn’t Enough

Childlike faith is the key to the entire floor plan, starting with the entryway but going far beyond. We must believe that there is more, laying out our lives in such a way that we can discover it. Childish faith is just happy where it is, in the entryway. When the entryway dweller does become a little restless, their options are limited by their one-room floor plan. They can look all over the space they have and discover there is no more to discover! The only way to improve the entryway is to give it a facelift. Make things look better. Continuing with the entryway metaphor, adding a coat of paint, a new closet organizer, updated tiles, a table for cell phones and keys, and new door mats should do it. It may be the same room, but it looks so much better!

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