Nov. 10, 2016

A window to our souls...

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

There is a definite disconnect between our calling and our current state of affairs within God’s Church. I believe we’ve lost focus. We’ve rerouted the direction of the church. In doing so, evangelism is failing.

People wonder why church attendance in cratering. Many parents my age wring their hands and ask, “Why are the majority of kids my kids’ age vacating the church buildings?” Many of us don’t understand why the world is no longer listening to our message. My heart grieves because we are so very clueless. Yet, we seem to be so proud of ourselves believing our courage is what will transform our world.

Most of us sit in pretty church buildings looking out of the windows thinking, “Boy! This world has really taken a nose dive and I am going to fix it!” I’ve heard people say they want things to go back to the way they once were long ago before the world shifted and society changed. I suspect backwards is a more comfortable walk since you get to retrace familiar territory. However, true pioneers, real groundbreakers, and true Evangelicals do not have the luxury of moving backwards. In order to discover, create, and reach, we must move forward.

I am not saying we accept sin or whatever we see as wrong and claim that it is right. I am encouraging us to see the view of our churches from the outside looking in.

These two drawings are entitled, “Stained Glass: From the Inside Looking Out,” and “Stained Glass: From the Outside Looking In.”

When we sit inside the church building, we often forget how complex our world is right now. It feels messed up compared to what's inside the walls of our churches. We like the pretty colors with well-defined lines and boundaries. We like life orderly, well-planned, and evenly executed. We believe the picture the church world is painting is one of boldness and firmness as we take our stands against what's outside.

What happens when we move outside the glass house we've invented? The view from the outside looking in is less defined. It somehow meshes together and seems to find commonality. There is a natural blend as opposed to stark differences. The outside world has no clue what is going on inside the church buildings behind the pretty stained glass windows unless the church world is willing to step out and experience life outside its building.

Missionaries long ago realized our goal should not be to go into other countries in an effort to make them acceptable in our eyes. Our commission is to go into all nations providing an image of Christ, His teachings, and His love revealing He accepts them for who they are now and where they are right now.

Please, please move out of our beautiful buildings and neat little pews. Please move into the world and reach out to others. Instead of standing against someone, might I suggest we take a seat, sit with them awhile and explain to them who Jesus really is?

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