I visited a new church a few weeks back while back home with my family. And it got my brain going on the church and it’s mission.
Before service, the pastor got up to give an analogy using his family as a example. He began to tell us how his boys are currently using the word, “relatable” with their friends as their new catch phrase. If a friend would be complaining about the load of homework he had, the pastor’s kid would respond with, “relatable,”. As if to say he was experiencing the same thing. He then paralleled that with his church. Explaining to us how maybe this atmosphere was different that we are used to for a church setting, the lights, the music, the technology, ect. He explained that this is their way of making the gospel, church, and Jesus Christ more relatable to unchurched individuals.
Let me begin with this. I’m involved with church organizations that are also using fancy lights, different music styles, and updated technology. And this doesn’t bother me. Because maybe some people are drawn to a unique atmosphere that doesn’t fit their stereotypical, condemning church mentality. So they come in. And when they come in, they find Jesus.
But when our attempt to make the church a relatable place pushes Jesus out of it, we must reevaluate our choices.
And that, that is the very fear that struck me this Sunday morning. I looked for Him. I looked for Him in the worship, but all I found was feel good lyrics and a performance with fancy lights. I looked for Him in the word, but all I found was a self-help motivation. I looked for Him in the silence leading to and following prayer and worship, but all I found were desperate attempts to fill that silence with noise, any noise.
We are called to be missionaries of the gospel. To proclaim truth. To spread joy. To heal the wounded. We are called to bring Jesus to the lost. And to do this, I understand we have to reach different individuals in different ways. Even Paul himself said, ” I have become all things to all men, so that by some means I may save some,”(1 Corinthians 9:22). But I don’t believe that in doing this, Paul ever compromised who Jesus was for the sake of anyone’s salvation. Because fact is, if we are going to bring someone to salvation, it’s going to be through Jesus and His untainted identify, not some artificial Jesus. If we think that a cheap imitation of jesus is going to save someone’s life, we are sorely mistaking. Because just as easy as they accept this lie, they will loose grip of it as temptation and heartache come.