Posted by: pastortomvabeach | June 12, 2017

Thought for the Week June 18, 2017

Here we are again with another installment about our core values. I hope last week’s thought resonated with you and that you want to become a praying church as much as I and the rest of the leadership do. If that is so, we’ll get there, if that is possible. The more I think about really getting a handle on prayer, the more I think that the goal is almost impossible. As soon as we think we have a handle on it, we find out how much more there is to grasp. But moving in that direction will move us closer every day!

Our sixth value is sixth on the list but we don’t prioritize any of these since they are all vitally important. This says that we are relevant. Spelled out it means that “we go out of our way to make the good news of Jesus Christ resonate with the man on the street because we know that the truth never changes but our methods must connect with the culture.”

Paul knew this very well. He said. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. (I Corinthians 9:20-23 NLT).

What Paul is saying is that the message of the gospel is so important that we can adapt our cultural likes and dislikes so that we can communicate the message of Jesus Christ to everyone we can. This might mean such things as the types of music we use for worship, whether we dress formally or casually in church, the places we hang out (go where the non-Christians go), and the way that we practice our faith (never compromising but adapting to the culture).

For instance, if we are trying to reach a demographic where the people are familiar with liturgical forms of worship, wouldn’t it be wise to have some type of liturgy in our services even though the Assemblies of God typically doesn’t follow liturgical patterns in worship? Or if we want to reach younger members of our community, millenials and teens, we ought to do as much as we can to get our messaging and scheduling out on social media. If we don’t we are going to miss them.

This concept reminds us that the church is not for “church people” (those who are already saved). The church is here for those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus. It’s important for us to move away from the mentality that the church is here to serve my needs (have classes that make me feel good, worship that is not too loud or rocking, make sure that kids don’t act like kids in church, etc.). I think that we should go out of our way to find ways to reach, teach, and keep those who don’t know Christ yet. If that means giving up my class so I can lead a new believers group or help teach children’s church so we have the best in town, so be it.

How have you become relevant in your Christianity so that you could reach someone who is apart from Christ? What would it take for you to find common ground with everyone (or someone), doing everything I can to save some? That’s being relevant and we think that it’s a vital value today. With 80 million millenials of whom less than 15 percent are part of a church, we must do something or they’ll all be lost. Just a thought.

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