My last couple blogs have been about tough issues of legalism in the church and I have a passion about these subjects because there are so many churches dying, so many lost people not going to church, and it seems so many churches refuse to change in order to reach lost people, and many christians care more about tradition and old-fashioned religion than they do about their own maturing faith or reaching out to the unsvaved.
Here is what I have come up with. I think its time we evaluate our churches and our own person christian faith. Which side are you on? Which Side do you want to be on?
Side One Side Two
-My church is only church -The only church is the body of Christ
-My denomination is only true church -God established a body not a denomination
-Only One bible version -only one bible, with several versions that have been quality translated
-Singing Hymns is only real worship music -there are all types of music styles that
are fitting to worship God
-That's the way we've always done it -Let's try a different way or new way
-My way is the only way -my way is not only way or best way
-We've done it that way for 50 years -why haven't we changed that in 50yrs
-We cannot change our methods -we can change methods and still have
-That's the way Grandma did it -Grandma's ways aren't going to reach
I could have a list of things for several pages, but, Alot of the things we practice in our churches or in our own personal faith is simply preferences, opionions, traditions, or unfortuantely some legalistic practices and these are setting the church back not forward, and we are missing or pushing away alot of lost people in the process.
There is nothing wrong with tradition as long as tradition is still effective. If we are still singing the same songs we sung 30 years ago, still doing the same things the same ways, then we are missing an entire generation and the church has become about comforting the saints and not reaching the lost. We cannot reach our children or grandchildren with teaching and preaching styles of the 70's and 80's. Did you listen to your parents or grandparents music or watch the same televison shows as them? I think not. How can we expect to reach new generations of people with the message of God, if we refuse to change our methods. Next time your at your church look around? Any young people? why? If you do are they bored or seem out of touch? Why?
The message of Jesus is the same, but the styles, preferences, and ways we go about sharing that message with others, should constantly be changing, or we are losing people and boring people. Where will your church be in 5, 10, 15 years if you keep doing things the same ways?
Where will your faith be if you do not do things to stretch, mature, and grow your faith?
Sometimes i feel like church becomes a predictable, doing the same things, the same ways, good ole days gathering. We sing the same songs, hear people give the same old testimonies, and preachers preach the same old message. We are preaching to the choir, and then making un-churched people who do come to visit church feel out of place and confused? They've just stepped into the past and been guilted to try and be saved.
Our obligation is to to Preach Christ and the methods are up to us, that's where the freedom comes in. People are the ones who constantly care about changing things, not God. God is unchanging, but His methods are ever-changing. It's time our churches and church leaders, do the same thing. We have got to change our churches or they are going to continue to dwindle and die, and they are going to be a museum or retirement home for days gone by. Churches and christians should be ever trying to change things, update things, try new things, and do whatever it takes to reach lost people, and to help people grow in their faith. While we worry about protecting our traditions or comfort zones, people are dying without Jesus.
So again, which side are you on?
"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters." Matthew 12:30(NIV)