Tuesday is for Preaching
The church in America is sick. She has buildings and schools and Bible Colleges and Seminaries. Dozens of parachurch organizations exist to help her accomplish her mission, magazines and books continue to pour forth from her publishers. Whole new genres have developed from Christian novels to Christian music, Christian Comedy, Christian radio, even Christian exercise (whatever that is). All manner of new organizations exist to poll it, survey it, promote it, analyze it, strengthen it, grow it and yet with all of these resources, the Church in America is sick and getting sicker.
Part of the problem is that we spent so much of the 80 and 90’s pickling ourselves in the vinegar of “relevance” and how to market the church, that we lost Jesus. We found systems, and programs, and perspectives, and approaches, and models. We copied and adapted from one another, and tweaked and adjusted material and curriculum trying to grow our churches and reach the unchurched. We found hip, and relevant, and contemporary, and cutting edge, and creative, and unique (ha!), but we lost Him in whom our life resides (Phil. 1:21); we lost the One without whom we can do nothing (John 15:5).
But it is only lovers, real lovers of Jesus who can tell others about Him and our churches are filled with consumers of a Christian-flavored-life rather than Christ-is-my-life kind of people. It’s why Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him (John 21:15-19). It’s why He stands outside the Laodicean church in Revelation asking if their love is hot (Rev. 3:14-22). It’s His criticism of the church at Ephesus who allowed their love … abandoned their first of Him, for a true but cold orthodoxy (Rev. 2:1-7).
Pastor, church planter, brother, sister, admit your sickness. If you want your church to be more than it is, get on your knees and ask God for a deeper love for Him and keep getting down on your knees until one day you rise with a passion that finds all its joy in Him. Quoting John Piper, it’s still true, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.”
If we don’t do that, if we remain satisfied with the status quo, we will only peddle a Christ-flavored-life not the real Christ who wants to change the world. We are called to be heralds of the King and His Kingdom not peddlers of Christ-flavored knockoffs. The world needs heralds not peddlers.