Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cleaning Up the Church

There was a time when I thought that churches were "cool" if they had leaders who looked a certain way or if the congregation was made up of pretty people. I thought churches that were successful would use the greatest technology and the latest, cutting edge songs that sound like something you would hear on the radio.

Don't get me wrong, I think technology is great. And, I love music. But over the years, I've changed. I've thought many times about buying several of the same black suit so I would fade into the background when I was preaching. I don't judge music by the cool riffs anymore, but by the content of the lyric and whether it is centered on Scripture.

I've come to the realization that those things I mentioned above are what the world finds attractive at the rock concert, ballpark, designer runway, and it's what they are looking for in the church. Unfortunately, the church has been sucked into culture, largely, instead of making a dent in it. Don't believe me? Look at how LIFE magazine defines coolness when it comes to church.

Now, before we being throwing stones at the churches in that article, let's look around our own city and county. Most likely, there are churches that would fit perfectly into that magazine article that are in our own zip code. And, before we start throwing stones at other churches in our zip code, let's start thinking through our lives together in the local church we attend. We will probably find some pretty convicting evidence there. You see, there's a lot of cleaning to do within the church we attend to begin so that we will look like the disciples in Mark 1:14-20 who left everything to follow Jesus. This means there is some reorganization that we need to allow the Holy Spirit to do within each and everyone of us to make us into the radiant bride of Christ.

This Lord's Day, when you are joining with other believers to worship, ask yourself, "Why am I here?" If the top-of-your-list answer is anything other than to glorify, enjoy, love and grow in my Savior, then you need to ask God to reprioritize your reasons for attending.

Also this Lord's Day, listen carefully to what your Pastor says. Listen to hear how he is calling you, as Jesus does, to belief, repentance and the new life in Christ. Even if you are a Christian, you need to hear week in and week out...I know I do!

Then, why not compare notes with a friend that goes to another church next Monday?

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