Monday, December 17, 2007

Is the Church relevant?

A few months ago during seminary we viewed a presentation that asked the question, “Is the Church relevant with today’s society?” Great question. Many teenagers and adults, young and old, were interviewed. Their answer was NO.

Perhaps that is not surprising. Our church, like yours I am sure, publishes numbers on attendance, offerings and so on. The numbers continue to drop. But wait, church is not a baseball card. Something you turn over and read the stats.

So what is relevant? I will give you an example. Today I picked my daughter up from high school. Asked her how her day went. With a smile the first thing she said was that she had lunch with Pastor Kevin. Our Youth Pastor visits the schools and talks with the kids at their location in their environment. Sure he sat down with the whole crowd of kids, but to my daughter it was a personal experience. My point is that it is not the church that is relevant. It is our servants in Christ that are relevant. Like our Youth Pastor taking the time and going that extra mile to make a difference in service of Christ. Making a difference in the lives of others for Jesus.

Is church the main focus of my life? NO. Is it the focus of your life? Dare I say it better not be? Our focus should be on Christ Jesus. Easier said than done I know. A church is just four walls and a roof. Again dare I say that joining a church might be the worst thing a Christian can do? How can I say that? In the past two years, with the exception of my wife, every adult that I have seen baptized at our church has since stop attending church. Moved on and out so to speak. It is my fault. It is our church family’s fault. As Christians it is our fault. How dare we allow it to happen, but we do. It grieves me on how I have failed my Lord.

Let’s get biblical. We are children of God. It is His Church we serve. To be relevant in today’s society is not to be of today’s society, but as children of God.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way. Matt 5:11-12 (NLT)

Being a Christian is not about life enhancement. It is about being right with God.

By this world’s standards my life is no better since accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior. Even worst and I agree. My family and I struggle more now than ever, but heaven awaits us. I have never been closer to God.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)


Anonymous said...

What a way to put the truth! The building is not the Church, WE ARE! I believe if we as children of the most high God would realize this, I think we could turn our country back to Jesus and follow His leadership. But, it starts with me and you and evryone else who is called Christian

Becky said...

Your comments are so true. I believe along with you we as Christians are failing at what we have been called to do and that is to share God's word and disciple others that they may do the same. This is how we build HIS CHURCH. The only numbers that count in GOD'S sight is the number of followers doing as HE has command and bring the numbers up in HIS CHURCH. We have to guit saying we are going to do something and do something about it. Our days are numbered and we have to put GOD'S CHURCH (the only one that counts) FIRST

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts. Glad to see that you are one of those thinkers. There are many reasons that people do not find church relevant to their lives today. Many of those reason are poor excuses......why? Because people are focused on the wrong things and hopefully not to alarm you, however many of our leaders in our churches today are focused on the wrong things and forget the real thing. Jesus Christ came to forgive us, and we should be forgiving people. Too much criticism and not laying things to rest. People come to church as a solice in life. A place to find rest, comfort in the storms of life. We need to remember that we should be looking for Jesus Christ in the church, no focus should be on a man. Why do people become discouraged? Because they do not see lived in the lifestyles what is preached from the pulpits of America. People look at people for an example. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, it is the truth! We may be the only Bible some folks ever read............scary thought!

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