The future of the church will fully depend on its ability to get back to what is tangible and real about being a Christian. It's going to take more than discussion about these things, it's going to take real action. The problem is, our lives are so crowded with activity that we find it nearly impossible to "fit these things in." We ask, "I believe in Jesus, and I've confessed Him in public... Isn't that enough? ... I take Jesus with me into my busy-ness... well, mostly."
No. That's not enough.
What we need today in our hurting, over-sexed, abusive, drug-infested, idolatrous, self-centered, systemically evil world is spiritual power and heaven's authority. The problem with Christians is, we are no different than the world in that we believe we are automatically entitled to this power and authority with no responsibility or accountability on our end. Yes, you heard me right, there is an entitlement attitude problem in the church that needs a serious attitude adjustment. We expect to have church "our way" and we expect to have all of God's power and authority magically dumped into us like a government benefit check in our mailbox, having no investment in the relationship that is key.
What we need today in our entitled, over-entertained, culturally-relevant-seeking, pop-culture-mirroring, belief+nothing=salvation-subscribing, self-centered churches is to get back to making Jesus the center of everything. If Jesus says it, we do it. If Jesus models it, we embed it into our lives. If Jesus commands it, we obey. If Jesus sends us, we go. If Jesus prayed much, we pray much. Church culture, in many ways, is just as far off the mark Jesus intended it to be as we complain that our nation is drifting far from what our founding fathers intended it to be. Church "ala-American" is not Church "ala-Jesus."
Let's get back to what Jesus intended:
What does this mean for you? You'll have to give up something... and you'll have to take up something. That's the way it is for every follower of Jesus without exception. What will you give up? What will you take up?
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.