Thursday, December 15, 2011

Identity Crisis

"...the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose." C. S. Lewis - Mere Christianity
It's amazing how relevant this C. S. Lewis quote is today. Brian Dodd writes at that, "Only 4% of Generation Y (the technology generation) is actively attending church."

Here's an example of one of those 4% attending church: she is a female student who was raised in baptist church and claims to know Christ, "Wish I could go out into public with no makeup on without people judging me." What am I trying to point out: The church is NOT actively pursuing men and women "into Christ."

Could this be some random quote or maybe the teenager was having a bad day? Sure. But when you consistently hear and read about students who are more worried about themselves and their physical appearance, where is her identity?

This is one reason I believe that many in the Church have an identity crisis. You and I are the Church.

Most students I come in contact with, high school age and college students are not grounded in Christ. There is a reason and sometimes we need to ask ourselves why 96% of Generation Y is not attending a church.

Brian Dodd also states "When Bill Hybels and Rick Warren admit that small groups in their current format are simply not effective on a mass scale..."

"NOT EFFECTIVE," Hybels even authored a book on how his mega church format was not working.

I am not attacking mega churches or small groups or any church, I am just presenting an example and hoping to spur others to start doing church differently.

How do you solve an identity crisis? The Church must be grounded in Christ.

As the Church/Christians we need to start investing in people, begin teaching and living the Word to one another. And always point those around is to Him.

Consider missional living and seeking Christ together with your neighbors and others around you, just doing life, letting others witness your living testimony. Impacting those around us, being the "Church" everyday, showing them Christ begins the change.

The next "big thing", the "wow factor", whatever, is distracting from Christ. If it is anything other than Christ, than the church is going down the wrong path.

Scripture says in Acts 6, "These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly" Christ is all about moving and changing people in BIG ways, but we MUST be grounded in Him. He becomes our identity.

"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30

Do you want our faith and the Church to become, "simply a waste of time?" Of course not. Find your identity in Christ and return to Him. Only in Him can change begin.

God bless.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

"Before I formed you..."

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
You and I are set apart. Our Father in heaven knew us before we were created. He knew you and I were going to be here and now.

Our God is sovereign, which means supreme authority. He rules over you and I; He desires for us to be His instruments, spreading His name among all nations.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

He is in control. He has it all in His hands. Let us continue to be set apart and follow in the path He is laid before and carry on.  

Many times we let ourselves beat ourselves up, think we are inadequate and bow to fear.  The Word of God says they we don't have to have these thoughts, but when we focus on Him we come to realize these two truths.

We are set apart. God wants to take care of you. He is all knowing.

God Bless.