Tim Stevens encourages my socks off. He is the executive pastor of Granger Community Church and the author of Pop Goes the Church. His insight is good.
He recently posted notes from Willow Creek's leadership summit. This is one of them, quoting Chuck Colson, that I want us to chat about today:
Stevens gave our leadership team a direct hit in his book as we look at culture, how we interact with people and the lengths that we are willing to go to to offer people real faith. Colson's "Don't blame the culture" statement is one that, honestly, makes me cringe a little. Why? It is because for too long the church has sat on the sidelines and left those far away, far away and been content with that.
I am not content with that, haven't been for some time. What am I willing to do to engage the culture around me? What lengths am I willing to lead the church to reach deeper and farther than before?
1 Corinthians 9:22 (nlt) --- ...Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.
Romans 10:9 (nlt) --- If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
The message has not changed. Times have changed. People are still lost, still depressed and still living without hope. The answer is still Jesus.
Where do we, the church, get off keeping our distance from the people we are called to reach? Our world is in a position to hear about faith. People are seeking spiritual things, yet it is rarely the church where they go looking. We have to find other connections. Go back to what Colson said. Those non-negotiables have never changed. God is God. Jesus is the Savior.
How do we get the message out? How to we offer real faith? A first step might be to confess who we blame for past failure or little success. It is time to address this issue with a genuine desire to impact the culture we encounter every day. Think about it.