Is Your Church A Mirage? (Part 4)

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Do you build or burn bridges?

My friend Tanner is in a Christian rock band, Tanner and his band mates are not just talented musicians gifted by God, they are bridge builders to a generation of young people, that the “Church” has essentially closed the “drawbridge” on.

A giant moat separates this generation of young people who so deserately need to hear the Gospel message and prevents them from stepping their “dirty” feet on our pristine Holy carpet.

It reminds me of a bumper sticker that read; “Jesus loves you so I don’t have to”.

This may have been meant as a joke but I failed to find the humor in it, because the message is all too real. Sadly this has become a slogan that seems to be embraced by the “Church in America” today.

My statement is harsh but they say the truth hurts. If you disagree with me, please take a moment to examine your heart; What thoughts come to mind when you see a group of “rowdy” young people gathered in front of a 7-11? They are all dressed in black, sporting wierd hairstyles and colors. They have piercings and tattoos, they are smoking and cursing.

Does your heart break for them? Do you want to reach out to them in love? Build a relationship with them? Listen to them and find out about their alcoholic, abusive father. Their mother drowns her misery in valium and vodka to escape. That they act out like this as a cry for attention and help? Do you feel compelled to pour into their lives and invite them to your church? If this is you, please contact me.

Or do you tell yourself you cannot believe how bad this generation has gotten? You make sure you lock your car and don’t make eye contact as you rush past them.

They may be laughing now, but wait until they stand before God, then we’ll see whose laughing. Then they’ll get what they deserve. They better never try coming around our church, we’ll tell them how it is.

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you in truth, I have met more door lockers than heart openers.

We the “Church” have taken on the role of Prosecutor, Judge, and Jury. We decide who comes to Jesus. We decide the acceptable dress code and conduct.

Our churches have become like gated communities with little guard shacks. We keep the bar down across the entrance to our parking lot and we sit in our imaginary guard house. If someone approaches that we don’t approve of, we deny them access.

You might be saying to yourself, “I’ve never told someone they couldn’t come in.” But I promise you, actions speak louder than words and our eyes do a lot of screaming.

Jesus called us to be “fishers of men” not cleaners of fish. Our only job is to be a GPS, directing people to Jesus. The Holy Spirit will clean them up. Not you. Not your pastor or youth pastor. Not even your ushers or parking lot attendants.

I started off by telling you that Tanner is a bridge builder but he is also a professional fisherman. Though he would disagree this is how I have come to this conclusion;

Professional fishermen use the right bait for the fish they are trying to catch. They would never use worms to go shark fishing, never.

If you wanted to reach senior citizens with the Gospel message you’d be crazy to call Tanner and his band Armory Infirmary to come play for them. You’d be just as crazy to attempt a teen outreach with hyms from the church pumping through loud speakers.

Professional fishermen not only use the right kind of bait for the job, but if, for whatever reason the fish are not biting, they change the bait. Not always true of the church.

Too often we are using outdated, stale bait on rusty hooks from 20, 30, or 40 years ago and wondering why the fish are not biting.

WE decide this generation just doesn’t care about the things of God, they don’t care about Jesus. Shame on us.The biggest hindrance to successful outreach today is past successes.

There have been major advancements in the tools available to us to reach teens. Tools to connect and lead them into a relationship with Christ, but we have chosen instead to build havens for ourselves to keep them from contaminating our “Holy” way of life.

When Jesus was setting the example for outreach, He told the religious leaders that He came for the sick, not the healthy. Are we as followers of Christ not suppose to reach the very same ones Jesus came and ultimately died for?

  1. mrineer says:

    How true it is! Reading this I can see many churches as well as individuals who fit into your description of those tho are building heavens. How much more damage than good they are doing!

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