Church: How We Can Do Our Job Better
And the church has a job to do.
Too often, that job looks like it is to make budget, run programs, upkeep of buildings and grounds and vans...
I'm not saying those things aren't important. No, these things all need to be addressed when applicable. But none of these are the job of the church.
When I say the church has a job, I mean the church has a mission. And everything else is to fall in the context of this mission. The mission is the same mission of Jesus.
Jesus mission is to:
- seek & save lost people. (Luke 19:10)
- save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15)
- give us abundant life. (John 10:10)
- destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)
This is the church's job, and I believe we can do better. I've identified 3 steps a church can take in order to do a better job at what matters.
Step 1: Create a Culture of Acceptance
It's Jesus' church. Who did Jesus accept?
People need to feel welcomed and accepted. The church begins to create a culture of acceptance when the people that make up the church become aware of others outside of their walls, and begin to determine, "how will we make unchurched people feel welcome and accepted?"
The answer is so much more than music style, but music style is going to be a major part of the conversation. That's the reality. Here's what I've learned - I can listen to the type of music I like all week long, enjoying myself and praising God. So, when I gather with church weekly, I come full and I can worship Jesus with an attitude of love in whatever style best creates a culture of acceptance.
How else might a church create a culture of acceptance?
Create a culture of acceptance...
Step 2: Without Compromising Our Convictions
It's Jesus' church. He accepted everyone with love and grace, but how often did He compromise His convictions?
One of the hurdles many of my friends are struggling to jump over is with acceptance of others. It seems to me this is because they have confused acceptance with approval.
Acceptance is not approval. Disagreement is not hate, and accepting a person is not the same as approving of the things in their life that may be standing between them and healthy relationship with God. Accepting a person doesn't mean you change what you believe, or somehow "water down the Gospel," as they say.
Anyone can come and find acceptance; everyone can belong. However, I believe with full conviction, that as I do life with Jesus' people, I'll find myself following Jesus. And as I follow Jesus, I change. He changes me. And it is change that I find myself desiring, and delighting in! We change as we follow Jesus!
How can a culture of acceptance be created without compromise?
Create a culture of acceptance, without compromising our convictions...
Step 3: With Intentional Investment in Others
It's Jesus' church. How did He invest in others?
Investing in others is what I like to call a "missional" way of living; it is living intentionally on the mission of Jesus. Investing in others is living like Jesus. It's asking, "How would Jesus live out my life?"
Investing in others in saying (with actions), "It's not about what we want from you, but what we want for you."
Jesus is our example here. When we look at the life of Jesus, we see He invested in others by:
- GOING where people are
- INTERACTING with those far from God
- HELPING them find their way back to God.
I believe that a church that is willing to take these steps will do a great job with the mission of Jesus, and be a healthier church, whether they have a balanced budget, productive programs, or wonderful buildings/grounds/vans/whatever or not.
How else might a church do a better job with the mission?