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First of all I truly love the church. And I’m willing to do what is necessary to see the church grow and advance the gospel. Yet these past few weeks I’ve been driving myself (and everyone around me) nuts with so many questions and or concerns like: 

1. Why do we struggle with reaching those far from God?

Most churches struggle with really taking the gospel outside the buildings and programs and into the highways and byways of the world, why? 

2. How we (the church) use our resources:

I’m not opposed to paying pastors or buildings etc. But what I am opposed to is knowing that less then 1% of the churches resources goes to reaching the Middle-East, which is one of the highest unchurched regions in the world.  

I’m also opposed to the fact that 30,000 people die daily because they lack proper food and nutrition. 

I just read yesterday that the poorest places in America is located in the Bible-belt. How is that possible? Should that not concern us? 

Jeff and I are in serious talks about trying something different. Not sure what…But their has to be a better way that is more efficient. 

3. How we spend our time: 

How many debates, conferences, books, sermons and meetings do we really need? How do we stop talking/reading about the mission and start working on doing the mission? It’s not like we don’t know what we are suppose to do!  While in Africa I remember Steven telling me how little he cares about all the conversations he used to have about church and culture while he was church planting in NC, Why? IMHO he is now DOING the mission. (many Church Planters are also doing the mission)

Some quick-thoughts for now. Next week I will dive-deeper into these questions:

1. Are we more focused on our dreams then the gospel’s dreams? More people, big buildings, cool titles, write books, speak at conferences, etc.

2. Are we to scared to take risks and live like Jesus? 

3. Dealing with messy people stinks-so maybe we subversively avoid those people and their messes? 

4. We really don’t care about the lost and the poor. They become and inconvenience to our daily lives and church rhythms and budgets. 

5. Could the one thing that is standing in the way of the gospel be the church of Jesus? 

I wonder if we (church) really understand the responsibility we have as partners in the gospel with Jesus? If we fail to use God’s wisdom in a way that focuses on the true essence of the gospel and mission, then we damage the potential of the church and squander the ability to maximize our talents. Are we hiding our talents or multiply them? The Master gave us a ton of responsibility. 

I know these thoughts are provocative and it’s quite hard to answer clearly. This is not me being a cynic for the sake cynicism. These are serious questions that I’m asking. I love the church and different forms of church. Heck, I could even hangout with Mark Driscoll and Brian Mclaren and not go AWOL. Yet I deeply feel like God wants to do something greater…So I will at least ask the question.

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5 Comments

  1. 1. Keep bugging people. Some people will never voluntarily move beyond their comfort zone, so make them squirm a little while they’re sitting there.

    2. I have felt for a long time that the true work of the church goes on outside of the United States. The best thing our churches here can do is support that somehow. Your church may not have the Midd. East in their giving budget, but you can easily support ministries like Gospel for Asia for very litte, or just by giving away their material. Remember that the church in America is not exclusivly “the church.” The Christian church is alive and well… in other places.

    3. I don’t want to come off an a synic, but if you’re bothered by how much the church does (or doesn’t do) what are YOU doing personally to reach others with the gospel? You’re answer can’t be blogging either, becasue let’s face it: 95% of your blog readers are probably other Christians (like myself). Just some thoughts.

  2. Chris,

    I don’t know if “scared” is the right word. I understand and share your concerns, but I am more “bothered”/”convicted” than scared. I was bothered enough that I left a reasonably good and very large church in a quest to find answers.

    I have wondered how an individual church avoids becoming institutional while at the same time being a good steward of available opportunities. I don’t have an answer, but I recognize very well the questions.

    The overwhelming responsibility of being ambassadors for Christ entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation needs to be felt by all of us at all times.

    Keith

  3. Clark,
    Thx for dropping by the blog. Nice thoughts…

    BKing,

    I agree with your assessments..Bothered it is 🙂
    I love the word Ambassadors.

  4. How do I “ditto” this blog? I think what’s imperative here is for everyone to be able to ask these questions while removing any sense of loyalty or pre-conceived leanings. That’s when we get the rawest sense of the answer. If I was removed from my denomination, convention, even presuppositions as to the best way to “do” church, etc…then how does the Gospel BEST use me? My time…my money…my energy…

    Though we are all in need of be better “persons on mission” individually (the micro-level), there is still a sense in leaders to think on this corporately (macro-level). There is definitely this undercurrent of questions and conversations that I believe is taking the movement of Christ-following into a beautiful direction. But these questions, these ugly questions that we rarely want to ask (due to the fact that they disrupt our plans or hopes, etc)…they must be asked.

    Love it.

  5. I think what is sad is that people have never discovered God’s dream for their life or what it means to participate in something bigger than just the self.

    But when they do…watch out.


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By more on church « Interstitial on 27 Jul 2008 at 6:07 am

    […] What do you do in the early stages to build in core values that are God honoring? Chris has a series of questions that he is asking that need to be faced head on by anybody involved in church planting. They are: […]

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