Saturday, July 28, 2007


So, what's yours?

Seems that everybody has a label hung on them today. Liberal, conservative, orthodox, unorthodox, right wing, left wing, catholic, protestant, blah, blah, blah. It seems as though no matter what you do you're labeled by someone else which puts you into a nice, neat little box. But as followers of Jesus we're called to be outside the box.

That's right, OUTSIDE the box. For everyone who thinks that we're called to serve those inside the "Christian bubble" (as named by Dan Kimball) and that the folks on the outside should walk in the doors to ask about God... well, that's not what Jesus did. He walked the roads of Judea, meeting the everyday folks where they were. He associated with the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the sick and infirm, the outcasts of society. He told them that the kingdom of God was created for them, too. All they needed to do was to reach out to Him, and he would welcome them. To come to God with the unquestioning faith of a child and He would gather them in His arms. In other words, to be the faithful creation He intended.

So, 2,000 years later where are we? Sitting in buildings on Sunday morning, looking around at an ever diminishing number of people who look just like us. Leaving after the "worship" service to return to our real lives knowing we've been washed clean for another week. Standing around the coffee machine on Monday morning, sharing the off color joke we heard on Saturday night when we were sitting at a bar and leering at the wait staff in a slightly alcoholic haze. Watching that less than family friendly movie on our DVD player.

Is this what Jesus has called us to do?

Being a witness for Him requires a heart transplant. You need to ask Jesus to take yours out and put His in it's place. Then to get out and tell people about Him. We all need to stop looking at church as a building and get back to what church really is- the people who are believers and followers. It's time to return to the streets and meet people where they are.

There's a reason we now have a bad name in the world. It's because a lot of the folks that people associate with Christianity have said and done a bunch of really bad things, and the true followers have sat back and let it happen. And while we continue to pray and love them that have done this to the message of Jesus, we're to blame as well as we've not done things to counteract the other. I don't expect to be loved by everyone I meet, but I do expect to let them see the face and love of Christ in me. Jesus said we'd be hated, but we all need to be sure it's for the right reasons.

I'm a Christ follower. I wear that label with humility as I serve both Him and man.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Still waiting

That's right. I'm still waiting to hear all about the wonderful ideas of how to increase attendance and plant new churches. Nope, nothing yet... and still we see the numbers diminish. Where's the information that will allow the UMC to experience rebirth and revival?

It's been a month since Annual Conference, what's the plan? Or is it a big, dark, super secret that only certain members of the clergy are privy to?

I wonder how John Wesley would react to the situation we find ourselves in today. Knowing him, he'd probably start preaching in the streets... but wait, we don't do that anymore. Couldn't afford to offend someone, could we?