I’ve been kind of quiet for the past few weeks.
Although my intent was for this blog to be a weekly thing, it’s not something I want to force. This year has been about eliminating distractions and finding focus. I wrote about that here.
It’s amazing how just limiting my social media time has silenced much of the random thought chatter.
However, without the chatter there has been more awareness.
What am I really doing? What is really being accomplished? As a pastor and a church planter, some of my vision and goals seem grandiose to say the least. There’s an innate desire to be different.
Our vision is to reach and disciple people that aren’t being reached by traditional church; but traditions happen so fast that it’s easy to lose focus.
Over the past few decades, a “contemporary” church model was a way to be different from what seemed to be old traditions. It’s funny how in an attempt to be different, things often become the same. Most “modern” churches today have similar worship styles, use similar graphics, videos with sermon series and some kind of connection card.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that; but it’s fair to say, there’s not a lot of difference in what church looks like today.
The alarming thing is, I do see a difference between what church was in the New Testament and what we call church today. I’m not trying to be critical. This is a mirror I’m looking in, not a pointing finger.
Without all the chatter, is there an awareness I’m missing?
These passages have challenged me for some time. Paul was writing to a church in Corinth that, in many ways, had lost its focus.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NET)
1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony of God. 2 For I decided to be concerned about nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. 4 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.
To be concerned about nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified; not eloquent or persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Oh how I long for that kind of focus! I’m so tired of people hearing preaching and singing songs but not being transformed by the power of God.
Maybe it’s time to change focus.
I’m not even sure of what that looks like yet. The first step I took is to try to get out into the community and talk about Jesus over coffee. If you are in my area, that’s going to happen this afternoon, and every Friday for now. No agenda – just publicly asking the question, “Anyone want to talk about Jesus?”
Several times, no one showed up, but it’s changing me and changing my focus.
And yeah, I’m still working on my sermon series and the intro videos for this week’s message; yet there is a weakness and fear with some trembling going on too.
I don’t care if the lights all work this week. My focus is Jesus, Him crucified, and the demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
How is God changing your focus?
How can we BE the church and not just go to a meeting once a week?
I’m mulling over some thoughts, as well. There’s a dichotomy in the modern Western church that requires leadership to completely build disciples while ushering in new converts. And to a large extent, both people groups have suffered as a result. Leaving leadership and the Church, in general, feeling guilty and unsuccessful.
We seem to get in a hurry with fostering a move into the Great Commission, which brings a few questions to mind:
1. Should we focus on maturing and building up the body before we intentionally move into evangelism efforts?
2. How do we expect fledgling spiritual babies to grow in an environment where the “Fathers/Mothers” gossip, kill, steal and destroy each other or a new move of the Spirit? Or at least they are indifferent?
I’m sure the language I’m using is a bit verbose, and my personal experience is somewhat different..but I’ve heard the stories, as I’m sure you have.