As I've been reading Jim and Casper go to church I'm finding that my view and approach to how we do church is changing.
This book tackles the tough questions about how church is done at many different levels from the viewpoint of both a Christian and an Atheist. The goal is to see if the church is indeed reaching first-time visitors and showing the love of Jesus to those who don't have a relationship with him. Are they reaching the lost or catering to the saved?
One of the things that stuck with me the most was this simple statement: Is the church engaging people or performing for them?
And since reading that one little sentence I haven't been able to think of anything else.
I guess you could say it convicted me if I'm being honest. Too many times in my lessons for our youth I've had the mindset that "bigger is better". In other words, the more I build up the worship, the lesson and prayer time the better it will reach our students. Too many times I've catered to what I thought the students would like rather than just allowing the Holy Spirit lead me, and too many times I've used video after video to get the point across rather than letting the simple truth in the Bible reach the youth.
And every single time I could justify my actions with something like, "our youth today get the message better when we use videos and other media sources."
But again I hear... Engaging or Performing?
Now, I'm not saying it's wrong to use those resources, in fact I will probably continue to use them but just not as much as I used to. The main thing is that these students learn about Christ and grow to have a relationship with him. If that happens then as leaders we've been "successful" know matter how we managed to get the point across.
But again, that simple statement keeps coming back to me. I know the Lord is showing me something in this. I know He wants to stretch and grow me and I'm so excited to see where it leads me.
And then this morning as I was reading through my notes I ran across this quote from pastor Perry Noble:
"One of the reasons I believe we're not seeing amazing things happen in our churches is that we spend too much time trying to be amazing rather than pointing to the one who is amazing"!
Okay Lord, what are you trying to teach me here???