Praise the Lord Saints.
This month marks my one year anniversary of giving you guys spiritual golden nuggets. I hope and pray it has blessed you. If not, I ask you to drop me a line and tell me what you desire.
I happen to come across another good article that hits right at the very center of a lot of issues the church of today is facing.
3 Things Churches Love That Kill Outreach
By Ed Stetzer
All churches love certain things. Some love fellowship, some worship, some prayer. Those are good loves. Some are neutral loves. Some are not. Other churches love their building, their history or their strategy.
Those can be good or bad, depending on what we mean by love and how we value those things. But, some things that churches love hurt their mission and hinder their call. Here are three I’ve observed from my work with thousands of churches.
Too many churches love past culture more than their current context.
It’s remarkable, and I’ve said it many times: If the 1950s came back, many churches are ready. (Or the 1600s, or the boomer ‘80s, depending on your denomination, I guess.)
There is nothing wrong with the fifties, except we don’t live there anymore. We must love those who live here, now, not yearn for the way things used to be. The cultural sensibilities of the fifties are long past in most of the United States. The values and norms of our current context are drastically different and continue to change. The task of contextualization is paramount to the mission of the church because we are called to understand and speak to those around us in a meaningful way. We can learn much from the Apostle Paul’s example recorded in Acts 17:16-34.
So, a church on mission — in this time and place — engages the people around it. Yes, in some ways, it resembles its context — a biblically faithful church living in its cultural concept. But, if your church loves a past era more than the current mission, it loves the wrong thing.
Too many churches love their comfort more than their mission.
The fact is your church probably needs to be less focused on what makes it happy and more focused on what pleases Jesus. This is an easy trap to fall into because it happens very subtly.
Most churches have worked hard to get to a place where congregational customers are happy — their needs are met. The problem is that we are not called to cater to customers. We are called to equip co-laborers. When we win the affections of those inside our circles, it becomes hard to pull away from the affirmation we receive.
Again, this only becomes a problem when the affirmation of those on the inside works to the detriment of our mission to those on the outside. It is a lot easier to settle down with the people who are like us than to reach the foreigner or alien among us.
So, a church does not exist for the comfort of its people. Actually, the Bible reminds us again and again that we are to “provoke one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24), to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), and more. But, if your church loves its comfort more than caring for others, it loves the wrong thing.
Too many churches love their traditions more than their children.