Sunday, March 02, 2008

Best Quote

This is one of the best quotes I saw last week:

If the 1950’s come back…most churches are ready to go… - Ed Stetzer

Boy would I love to unpack that one. This is something that I have been harping on for many years. Although I usually say the church is doing church like the 80's. At least many of the ones who progressed out of the 80's.

I think the church is hoping that it will come back around like "fashion" does. I'm not sure who is to blame or if I dare assign blame.

The blame is probably equally shared. Pastors who accept the status quo and are no longer aware of what is going on in our culture. Christians who just want it to be how they like it.

What must be guarded is the tendency to set up your church or ministry based on how you were saved or grew as a Christian. Take a hard look and ask are the elements that are guiding your church then ones that took you from salvation to maturity. Those very elements may not be effective in this new era.

One of the things I was guilty of as a beginning pastor is I made our "services" how "I" liked them. It was going great until I looked up one service to see that all the people that were coming were disconnected. I was trying to reach them as I liked and wanted church to be.

We must progress as the church as Christianity is quickly becoming the minority in this nation.

Your thoughts...before I dare continue down this line of thinking.

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chris said...

And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." Luke 15:2

This scripture blows me away. In their mind, the Pharisees spoke condemningly of Jesus saying he was ‘a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' (Luke 7:34, Matthew 11:19)

Would that the church see that today so that we too could be accused of being friends of "sinners".

Jason Curlee said...

Chris - ouch....I saw a post on a blog somewhere last week that was called "Breakup With A Christian".

Fits well with what you just wrote.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. So what purpose should a church service serve? I'm at a place in my life where they are all meaningless. Same religous routine. Can't really blame one party. Some people need routine and a busy church calendar in order to validate their faith. Just like some pastors use their authority for validation.

can't wait to read the rest of your thoughts.

chris said...

My struggle is how to structure the Sunday morning worship service. I am convinced that there ought to be an environment of reverence and awe. Unbelievers should sense that. I am not talking about ritualism either. I mean the kind of corporate worship that the Apostle Paul describes (1 Cor. 14) saying that when “…an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.” The seeker ought to experience a feeling of transcendence that causes him to say “…God is really among you.”
We are definitely not going to arrive there when the pastor treats the service like a talk show and has a flippant attitude about weighty spiritual matters. Someone may say that such a format is familiar to the unchurched, but that is exactly the problem. Seekers are not searching for the familiar. They are searching for eternity. The Bible says that God has “put eternity into man’s heart.” (Eccl. 3:11)
I haven’t figured it out, but I’ve been down the purpose-driven, seeker sensitive, marketing and pragmatic approach and I am not convinced that that is the answer for the church to reach the lost. Just my thoughts.

Jason Curlee said...

I have to admit too that when you scan the landscape of Churches in see God's blessing on a variety of types. I myself have been involved in a variety of types.

I wonder if any of you think God works in conjunction with the culture to a degree. By that I mean today we live in the information age. People by and large are information junkies...thus...many churches that are growing tend to have a focus on information vs. experiential.

Not sure that I answered the much as opened up another box.

I'm not sure where exactly I fit in the box Chris...I think I'm a little exegiatel (sp). Yet I want to be practical at the same time. I sat in so many "services" and at the end said now what. Great information but if I can't apply it or it doesn't transform my thinking what's the point.

chris said...

Yeah man, a message that doesn't unpack the the practical implications and outworking of biblical truth remains incomplete. That is probably one of my weaknesses is message delivery. The other extreme is to be too practical. You know, the kind of teaching that causes people to "act christian" without knowing the "why". All behavior ultimately springs from belief. I do not if that makes sense.

Jason Curlee said...

I think on of the things I work hardest on a biblical truth backed up with scripture in a simple and relevant manner....I always try to give you the one way to apply what you have just heard.

On top of that I only talk about one thing...I'm not a three point message guy. I try to discuss one main big idea and how to apply it backed up with scripture and/or stories from scripture.