Tomorrow morning we officially launch the new 'contemporary' service at our church. I am so excited about seeing what God's going to do that I can hardly stand it.
I've struggled lately because of the comments a few "church" people have had to say about this service. They feel that we're trying "too hard" to get people into church...that we're changing too many things to make church more entertaining and fun...they're saying that we were only ever commanded to GO out into the world to lead others to Christ, and not to work so hard to bring them into our church. W H A T?!?!?!
I have been hurt, I have been angry, I have been shocked by comments such as these. I believe that we (like Christ) are to become "all things to all people" so that HE may become known. Is this the most comfortable place for me personally? No, but it is completely a place I have been called to. I am saddened when I think about what God must feel when he watches us scream, jump and yell at the television over our favorite sporting event, yet we're afraid to do anything but solemnly stand and mumble words when we praise Him.
Maybe (DEFINITELY!) there are people that can be reached by using a different format for church. Maybe what works for one doesn't work for all? Maybe we should spend our time praying for the opportunities for outreach and for people coming to KNOW the Lord instead of judging the things that others are attempting to do to make this happen. Maybe it's time for some people to get out of their own way and to let God work. Why is it that the 'church' is often harder on each other than the rest of the world is?It's fine for people to have different preferences, but is it really our place to judge and decide if someone else has the right to pursue a different ministry opportunity?
Now, don't get me wrong. I am including myself in this group. There have been MANY times I have done the same thing- judged without thinking; assumed that I knew better. The bottom line is this- We (myself included) need to be willing to go to places that are outside of our comfort zone. We need to do whatever it takes to reach a lost and dying world. We need to support each other and serve together as ONE body since we are all serving the same Lord. Pray for your neighbor instead of judging. I am going to work harder at this, too.
Please pray for our service that begins tomorrow. The stories we have heard just this week since our "pre-launch" last week have been amazing. There is great potential for God to work if we will just get out of the way. Love to you all!
If you'd like to read my last post about this service, you can find it here:
Obedience Part 2