Friday, July 22, 2016


Society is watching us.  A vast number begrudgingly avoid us.  There is an errant assumption among all of us.  We church people are presumed by those in and those out that we have our acts together.  Announcement to church and community: We.  Don't.

Churches operate under a most subtle threat: we may have gone Jesus-less.  The reason that I would dare make such a statement is that, of course, I found myself to be guilty of such about two decades ago.  I found myself caught up in gaining momentum in the realm of Kingdom truths.  Even this was a facade as I certainly was not.  To cap it all, I realized I was doing a lot of Bible pounding from the pulpit with a very grave absence in referencing the one named Jesus.

The church will gain traction within our ailing communities when we increase our hunger to know this very real Son of God.  There can be no substitute: not doctrine, not works, not activity.  Either Jesus will capture the minds and hearts of the church or else we will simply fade into the unbelieving landscape while campaigning for stronger church attendance.

I watched the Republican Convention this week with great enthusiasm.  I will be equally glued to next week's Democratic gathering.  America's hopes are not built upon the dreams of political leaders.  Our nation's hopes are to be energized by men and women who courageously trade our religious-practicing robes for a suit of Spirit armor as we plunge into the pits of desperate humanity which needs new life.

This is where the church will gain traction; wading into the blind alleys of the brokenness and despair of our neighbors.  We are currently viewed, by some of our neighbors, under the magnifying glass of suspicion.  The church deeply desires to be a blessing everywhere we turn.  All the while, we are a broken people ourselves needing the restart of Jesus day by day.  The secret combination to effectiveness is a broken people and a resurrected Lord.

This is this factor that the onlookers don't get.  They assume that we believe that we have our acts together.  They aren't ignorant.  Their assessment of us us half right.  They see through us.  What they don't see is that we see through ourselves.  When the latter happens we effectively turn our eyes toward Jesus for he is the only one who gets us....warts and all.

Oh how we tried to jump enough religious appearing hoops to ward off the judgment of God.  We tried oh so often....and failed 100% of the time.  It is at this turn that the church seems to openly awaken.  To be in the church without the sense that we desperately need a Savior is to miss the point....completely.  We gain incredible traction when we confess that as long as we have been in the church we are never sharp enough to earn our way.

Our communities need our churches to gain traction.  Arrogance of systemic traditional beliefs will never cut it.  Humility...humble hearts of repentance...will.

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