Blueprint

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 – What Does the Décor and Landscape of Our Lives Look Like?

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 NIV

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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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