Perhaps it would be better if we studied scripture instead of strategy and culture? What kind of God do you think you serve? Was God unaware of the cultural shifts through time? The Gospel is no respecter of culture. It transcends culture. How arrogant are we that we think God needs our help in massaging His word for this generation? It is true that culture is changing, as it always does. The Depression of the thirties led to the expansion of the forties. That led to the beginnings of youth rebellion in the fifties and then the drug culture of the sixties. The Gospel however did not need to change through any of it and it sure doesn't need to change today. The church is a shining city on a hill because it does not change in the face of cultural tsunamis.
"5. When was the last time I personally invited someone to church? This is a tough one. The reality is many Christians, for a variety of reasons, don't actually spend time with that many non-Christians. Sometimes it's fear based. That's a shame, because Jesus seemed to like outsiders even better than insiders. He had no problem hanging around people who didn't want to hang out at church. Jesus had no problem loving people who didn't yet love him. Sometimes it's calendar based. The church runs so many programs that Christians are at church 5-7 nights a week. You don't have time to build relationships with anyone outside, let alone be a family. That's why at our church, we only do community group one night a week. For the rest, we want our people to be home with their families as well as involved in local sports leagues, involved in their local schools and active in the community building friendships with people Jesus loves but who never attend church. Sometimes it's just a practical issue. If you're on church staff, unchurched people rarely ask you for time. Churched people call you all day long and ask for your time and attention. And so you find yourself so absorbed with the work of the church that you miss the mission of the church. If almost no one at your church knows any unchurched people, it's no mystery why your church isn't growing. So why not go build some real friendships? And before you say we should be 'in the world but not of it', please read the Gospels again." -- Carey Nieuwhof
First off the comparison to Jesus here is offensive. He disliked the false leaders of His religion, not "insiders." This final point however is a typical staple of Purpose Driven teaching which turns the sheep into the bad guys who are just selfish and are thwarting the efforts of the vision casting CEO Pastor-Dude. There is a reason why God used the imagery of sheep and a shepherd. The shepherd is not usually looking for another flock -- he tends to the one he has. Sheep are not dispersed to go find other sheep -- they need to be tended to. Perhaps the most amusing thing of all is Carey Nieuwhof admonishing people to read the Gospels again after writing yet another carnal leadership piece that is devoid of anything biblical to begin with. God is our leader. The Gospel is our vision. Everything else is just Purpose Driven Noise.
Reverend Anthony Wade -May 24, 2019