4.) From defending traditions to proclaiming Jesus.
The most needful and difficult task of the church today is to again preach the message of the Cross, and do so in a way that alarms, surprises, scandalizes, challenges, invigorates and inspires a 21st-century world. Mark Galli
Hop in a plane to North Korea (that’s not possible) or parts of China and the middle east. While there, make a note of how many people are talking about which denomination has the Scriptural stranglehold over everyone else. You probably won’t hear many of those conversations. The reason is lives are on the line, and meaningless conversations have no space in their day. It is about Jesus, and getting his name out to those around them.
The truth is nothing other than Jesus transforms lives. Nothing. So, conversations aside from the transformative power of the gospel are extra. Traditions are extra. Denominations are extra. Jesus is essential.
Churches relevant in the years to come will adopt this type of mentality. They will stop trying to defend their position and traditions at the expense of spreading the gospel. Their denominational preferences will fall if it means more people are transformed by the gospel. They will preach the cross because the cross changes lives.
Everything else is extra.
5.) From serving in the walls to missional outside the walls
I am not the missional expert, but I know this…missional is NOT giving somebody a list of volunteer opportunities in the church. For years, when someone was baptized or a new family moved in, the first question was, “How can we get them involved in our church?” The focus has been involvement in the life of the body. This is good, and the church should not completely abandon volunteering in the church.
But let’s go back to the culture. Non-Christians are not coming to the building anymore. So, here is a legitimate question, “Are we creating sideways energy by trying to plug new members into the life of the church and not the life of the culture?” I contend we are.
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Churches relevant in the years to come will train members to be missional. These churches will align passions and gifts with the work of God in the world. They will expand involvement outside the church walls. Where gifts align with making God known to the world…sparks come that will ignite the world for God’s glory. Find your gifts. Find your niche. Then light the world on fire.
Are there shifts or changes you think the church needs to make moving forward? Leave a comment below.
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!