The Most Important Question

There are a great deal of questions regarding church and ministry. Questions about structure, style, leadership, outreach etc.

When Jesus started talking about the church he asked a different question. He asked a question that should be asked again and again today as we discuss the church. It is a foundational question for the church and a critical question for each of us individually.

After Jesus asked those in his inner circle about what others thought about him, he turned to them and asked, “But who do you say that I am?”

I think Jesus is asking us that same question today as we look around and talk about what others think about the Church, Jesus, faith, religion etc.   The reason this is important is because everything about church begins and ends with this single qustion.

In the organic church, even if we get everything else “right” but skip this important question, we are not truly the church.  Church begins with Jesus, who he is and what He has done.

So let me ask you and put each of you on the spot as Jesus did his disciples.

WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?…

 

In the field or in the barn?

barn and fieldAs I think about Luke 10:2 and the plentiful ripe harvest described, I am struck with a truth often overlooked in today’s church world. The truth is this…. The harvest is in the field not in the barn.

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, ask the Lord of the harvest therefore to send OUT workers into his harvest field. GO! I AM SENDING YOU OUT like lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:2-3

In Mark 4 “A farmer went OUT to sow his seed…”  I wonder, are we spending a little too much time trying to harvest the harvested?  Are we spending a little too much time in the barn and not enough time in the field.

I asked this question at a semenar I was doing recently and the response I receieved when I talked about spending time building relationships with those in the “world” around us, not as projects but in caring relationships, didn’t surprise me.  The response was from scripture and creates a tension in the church world.  Can you guess what the passage of scripture was?

1 Cor. 15:33 —- “Don’t be misled… Bad company corrupts good character.”

So now what do we?  There is no shortage of scriptures that call us “out” and no shortage of scriptures that call us “out”.  We are to come out and we are to go out at the same time… Feel the tension yet?

What are your thoughts on this?

Churching the unchurched??????

unchurchedI have been wondering a lot about the mission of the church and how often I read about reaching the Unchurched.   Is it our mission to “church” the “unchurched”? somehow I think we have come to believe that we have reached our goal if the unchurched cross the thresholds and sit in our sanctuaries.  We are rewarded for butts in pews and bucks in plates.  We have not so subtly created a culture where if your butt is in a pew and your buck is in a plate on Sunday morning we are not to concerned with where you were Saturday night.  We wrongly assume that all is well because of where you sit on Sunday morning.  The more we reward butts in pews and bucks in plates the more we move away from our mission as the people of God the “Church”.

We have been called to go and make disciples not church the unchurched. Unless however we redefine what we mean by “unchurched”. When we use this word we tend to define it by those who “don’t attend a church on a regular basis”. This definition leads us to try and get them to our buildings. Another definition for us think about is the church as a people verses a place. Now when we think of the “unchurched” we are talking about reaching people for the Kingdom not a location.

In fact when the “unchurched” are interviewd the discoveries in these interviews reveal that the “unchurched” are not looking for another club to attend but to be connected to authentic genuine people in community.

Ed Stetzer comments in his blog, (http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2009/04/interview-with-trevin-wax.html)

“But much of what the younger unchurched are looking for is found in the character of God and what our churches are called to be. Note that I said what our churches are called to be, not necessarily what they are.”

Would it change how we did ministry if we saw people as people not as butts in pews and bucks in plates?  Would it change how we did ministry if the destination was changed from our facility to the Kingdom of God?  Are we successful if the unchurched enter the church or are we more successful when the “church enters the unchurched”?

What if you were to reach people for Jesus and disciple them in community relationships but they never cross the doorstep of your church?  Would you be ok with that?  How would you feel about them?  Would you consider them unchurched, unsaved, or even a lesser class of Christian?

Who’s YOur Daddy?

dscn2723Who’s Your Daddy? No I am not talking biologically but spiritually? Let’s start with the biological though and see what we learn about our spiritual family and God’s design for his church.

I don’t find too many parents who don’t expect their children to grow up and become parents. It is natural and normal for parent to raise their children with the expectation that one day they will have their own children and those children their own.

This is not any different than Father God’s expectations for his children.

Why is it ok to be a Christian for 30 years and never “Grow up” and leave home and give birth to a new generation of Christian children? who will grow up and leave home.

Do you see a problem with a 30 year old still drinking from a bottle?

Do you see a problem with a 30 year old complaining about not being fed and unable to feed him/herself?

Do you see a problem with a bunch of “grown ups” sitting in their “house” acting like selfish children complaining about the “radio station” dad has playing for the family, or crying and complaining about the way their “house is decorated”, or about not being “fed”.

One of the roles of a parent is to equip a child to become a parent. Isn’t that the role of a disciple. One who can “go and make disciples” who can “go and make disciples”?

One of the roles of a child is to be teachable and learn from the parent and Grow up and apply and implement the lessons taught by the parent and then become a parent and pass on that DNA and those lessons to their children who will hopefully go and do likewise.  Isn’t that the role of a disciple.  To be teachable with the purpose of application not knowledge.

So… Who’s your daddy? and Whose daddy are you?

So… Who’s your mommy? and Whose mommy are you?

Is it time you grow up… get off the bottle… move out… and pass on all that training you have been soaking in for the last ??????? years?

Oh yea “I don’t feel ready or prepared” to be a Spiritual parent… How many parents felt prepared when they went to the hospital to have that first baby? suck it up, walk out the door into that wonderful, uncomfortable, messy, rewarding world of spiritual parenthood.

I can hear some of you saying now, “not everyone becomes a parent”.  “That is not my spiritual gift”.  True, not everyone becomes a parent and maybe that is not your gift.  However, let’s be honest we are way out of balance in the church world and if the biological world operated the way the church world does we would be doomed.

Let’s be honest, that is most often said out of fear and as an excuse!

By the way, who was Jesus talking to when he said, “go and make disciples”?