Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mimicking the Mainstream

Here are some excerpts taken from a recent article by Tim Willard:

If to lead is to influence, what evidence is there that evangelicals lead out in culture with their excellence or with their spiritual acts of worship? Evangelicals put great importance on leading but instead of creating culture they are content to create a sub-culture, mimicking the mainstream.

What is the fruit produced from this faux-finished faith known as evangelicalism? We have huge churches catering to the lowest common denominators of culture. We have turned the body of Christ into something that feels and runs more like a corporation than an intimate community where families actually care about each other. We measure success like a business; if our numbers are growing then everything is good.

The only problem with this mindset is that discipleship cannot be measured in this way. Making a disciple of Christ takes time. It is hard. It is not something that takes place at a huge conference or outreach event. It is life on life.

The fruit of discipleship surfaces a few years down the line when those young people in the youth group have graduated and come back to the church not to be entertained but to plug into someone.

The church has forgotten what it means to equip the Christian mind. It is more concerned with putting on productions than putting out disciples. The end result is a bunch of whiney adults who don’t like the way the power-point presentation looked last week, or complain that the coffee bar needs to have more flavors to choose from. We have successfully dumbed down the Word of God. Intimacy with the Almighty is not something we strive for anymore. Relevance does not come from looking cool, a great church production, or using hip lingo. It comes from loving others.

The Christian culture tends to swing like the pendulum to one extreme, stay there for a while and then swing back to the other side. Do I believe we need to have experience in our faith journeys? Yes. Do we need to be more people oriented and less self-serving? Absolutely! However, I think the Church takes its cues from culture rather than creating culture. Our faith demands our hearts and our minds. The Christian landscape heaves with shallow people, content to live out their faith in the plush sanctuaries of the American church. We are training young Christians not to think about God or reflect on His glory.We are hollow Christians. The deep well of intimacy with God is missing from our faith.

Brothers and sisters, look around you. The Christian life is deeper than your iPod play list, it is more intense than Gran Turismo, and it is more than somebody’s idea of saving the world. At some point we will realize that our culture is looking for leaders not mimickers. It is time to create culture … heart, soul, and mind.

To read the entire article CLICK HERE .


MOM said...

I've often thought the church of the Bible was the ideal - meeting in homes, fellowshipping with each other and really knowing each other's needs.They knew each other and loved each other and helped each other. They were strengthened daily by each other. I feel lost sometimes moving with the crowd after services and walking out to my car like the throng leaving a concert or a ballgame. Maybe I have the wrong attitude about it but it can feel impersonal to me. And our church is not THAT big.

Bethany said...

I agree 100%. Only through God do we have the grace to get back to where He intended us to be all along- in His arms and loving Him & people every moment of every day, in whatever way possible...that's my goal. That's what I desire.

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