I have the opportunity to preach in many churches, churches of all types. Because so many traditional churches are considering doing small groups, I’m often asked to come and do a sermon on Christian community and how small groups help in the creation of Christian community in traditional settings.
If you’ve ever met me you know that I don’t wear ties. It’s just not my thing. As you might imagine, in some traditional churches I may be the first guy to preach there that wasn’t wearing one of these decorative chokers. If you’re a really close friend of mine you also know that I’m one of those weird people who dreams up what he’ll say in situations if cornered. One of the questions I know I’ll be asked at some point in a very traditional church is, “Why don’t you wear a tie?”
I’ve got my answer to that question. It’s not actually an answer, it’s actually a question. My question to the guy who asks me why I don’t wear a tie is this, “Why do you wear a tie?” You see, his question implies that I’m out of sync with what is right when the truth is, he’s on shakier ground than I am.
He wears a tie not because there’s a biblical requirement, rather because his entire life he’s been led to believe that wearing a tie is an expectation of those who follow Christ. His history has forced him into the box of legalism and he’s being held captive in it. His freedom has been robbed of him by tradition. The question I’ll ask him, “Why do you wear a tie?” may be the first step to his being set free.
Small group leader… A very important question you need to learn to ask some group members starts with three words… “Why do you…?” You may need to ask a group member, “Why do you think mothers that don’t home-school are not meeting a parental requirement?” or “Why do you beat up on people who carry an iPad with the Bible on it to church to read Scripture rather than carrying a bound copy of the Bible?” or “Why do you think people aren’t godly unless they spend at least an hour everyday having a quiet time?”
For many people the “Why do you…?” question is the question that starts the process of freeing them from the box that Satan is holding them captive in, the box of legalism and judgment.
P.S. I’m really psyched about the day somebody asks me why I don’t wear a tie to church!