Sometimes I’ll meet a person in ministry and think, “Do we live on the same planet?”
- I’ve got a really solid core group of kids each Wednesday night– I think they have a chance at winning the Bible quizzing championship.
- Our high school students are very involved in the community. Each year we get together with other churches in our district for a youth rally. They love it.
- I always take my sword wherever I go. You have to be prepared for battle at all times.
- I had to pull my kids out of public school because in California there’s a new law that teachers have to include gay history in the curriculum. (What’s really weird is that they don’t live in California!)
- I teach my students that they need to take a stand. A life with Jesus is all about taking the stand, right?
Code language. Insular communities. Church-centric attitudes. It leaves me wondering who they are trying to reach?
It makes me wonder how they have a conversation with their neighbors? I wonder what they are thinking as they get to know Diane next door, who just had to put her mom in a home. Or what they talk about with the gay couple across the street? Or what their neighbors think about them when they turn off their light on Halloween? Or refuse to come to the block party because people are drinking?
I wonder if people think of them as good news in the neighborhood?
I’m guessing that there are a lot of neighbors hiding from a lot of their Christian neighbors in this country.
I believe in Jesus. He is my only hope for salvation. And I fully acknowledge that the church is God’s chosen instrument for believers. But there is this sliver of people in every church who… are really weird.
And no one ever has the guts to tell them the truth: “You’re weird. And you really need to work on that. Jesus asks us to be different in a good way. Your weirdness is making it harder for me.”
The Flip Side – The culture wars are dying
Not all church staff are like that. It’s actually very few.
More and more I’m hearing a bad strategy being replaced with good strategy.
- In order to reach a community you have to meet the relevant needs of the community.
- In order to start reaching more people we had to stop fighting culture and stop teaching that the output of a life with Jesus is behavior modification.
- We recognize that to reach our neighbors we have to be good news before they will hear Good News.
- Rather than bring a program into our community which worked elsewhere, we’re going to the community and asking how we can serve them.