You know it seems to me that American Christianity has turned into a “feed me” faith. In fact, there’s no faith in that brand of Christianity. Many it seems come to church to be “fed.” I’m told that very often. Many tell me, “I like coming to this church because I get fed.” I understand their sentiments. I really do. But, is that why we come to church? Is it just about “meeting my needs?” Shouldn’t there be the element of equipping to do the work? After all, isn’t the church likened to a “body” in Scripture, being held together by every joint, equipped, when each part is working properly to build itself up? This is true. I just paraphrased Ephesians 4:16. The key is being “equipped” and “each part” doing the proper work.
Many Christians today simply want to “pay” someone else to be a Christian for them. They want to go to work and make money, save for college and retirement and have vacations and see their kids and grandkids make good grades and root on their favorite teams on the weekend and then give the Lord a couple of hours on Sunday and be done with it. We’ve compartmentalized our Christianity to the box of Sunday’s and a box called a building and we do little during the week to show that we’ve been equipped to do anything except to complain about how long the message was in the box, how hot or cold the box was and why the box needs to be bigger or the box needs to get paid off so we can build another box, while people outside the box are dying and going to Hell.
Can you tell I’m a little fired up? I am. I’m honestly sick to death with an “All About Me Christianity.” When will we become the Church and do what Jesus said…”Go and make disciples…be my witnesses…” (Matt 28:19-20, Acts 1:8). Well, let me show you what this looks like. It’s called a “Community Impact Festival” that’s “CIF” for short.
We decided it’s time to get the salt out of the shaker…
The salt is no good if it stays in the shaker, right?
So here’s what we did. We took our church’s inflatables that we’ve been using “just for ourselves” and we loaded them up along with some grills, hotdogs and the fixin’s and we headed out into the community (the highways and hedges) and took Jesus to people right down the road.
Get this…I wasn’t even there! That’s right! The “pastor” wasn’t there! (I was on vacation if you must know… :)) So, how did all of this get done? Because a group in our church (yes, we’re a Baptist Church, so I must call it a committee :)) called the “Family/Community Impact Committee” designed this event. About two years ago I had this idea come to me and we did our first event last spring and we continue to work on doing more. Why? Because 64% of the people in the county I live don’t attend church anywhere and more than likely they are not going to come this Sunday because I’m preaching or we have great music or whatever. We’ve got to go to them and show them we love them.
So, who did the preaching? I’ll tell you. A layman. Dale Jennings, who is just a regular ole fella, shared the Gospel!
Is that legal? 🙂 Can someone besides the “preacher” deliver a message? Absolutely and yes it is most definitely “legal.” Can you see this is what it looks like to be a church? I’m not meaning to blow our own trumpet. I’m simply saying that it’s time we stop talking about how to do church and simply DO IT! I’m grateful for our team of about 40 folks that gave up a Saturday evening to share the Gospel with their community! Whoohoo!!
So, let’s be clear about what Jesus was clear about. Jesus’ command is abundantly clear: