Where do you belong?

The Preferences post has led me to this and I am more curious than you can imagine.  My good friend, Kurt made this statement that intrigues me and I’m buying.  

“I want to belong to a church that religious people hate and sinners love.”

I am curious to see what the rest of you think.

Come on “Hit Me!” 

I’m in the ministry, I need to hear some feed back on this.

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9 Responses

  1. Eric – and Kurt – i’m diggin’ the quote. I totally subscribe to the fact that church is NOT for church people. It’s the place outsiders should feel loved, welcome and accepted. I believe the reason God grieves over His bride is for losing her focus. As much as we might want to preach messages that say It’s not about us, reality hits: someone shakes our boat and tells us that we need to get over our selfish prefferences, we get uncomfortable.
    I’ve said it one time and some people didn’t swallow it very well: God is not AS concerned with me as He is with the ones that are disconnected from him. And why would He? I am His, saved, going to heaven and all that good stuff.
    HIS HEART HURTS FOR THE LOST!!
    And I want HIS kind of heart.
    Great post!!!

  2. I have a friend that once told me that he struggled with his faith for a while. He hated the way the church behaved and the ‘feel good’ messages it was teaching. He even hated the church so much that his desire was to persecute christians and burn down churches! When he told me this, I was blown away! However, when he explained that he wanted show how far the church was from what it was intended to be by getting rid of it.

    He had a lot more to say and a better explaination, but I love that view. It’s definitley not what I want to do, but I totally saw his frustration which was completely reasonable.

    I’d belong to that church! Because it would be real, it would be life changing. But why can’t that be our church? Can we not just (or even stop) talking about how we view the church and do something about it?

  3. It was one of the greatest things I’ve heard in recent memory. It is the definition of what the church focus should be. What are we so afraid of? Oh, I know. Money. Christ knew it would come down to money, it did then and still does. But here is what I think. No, not think, believe. Whatever you are passionate about doing, or not doing, you will do. I can be doing something that is attractive and people will be attracted to it, conversely, I can be doing something that is unattactive…….you get the point. Also, “Ministry of the Mundane”, will attract, well, enough said. If you sell Converse and everybody’s buying Nike, it’s time to restock, or go out of business.
    If the church became a church that it was designed to be, which is, “preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ”, and the numbers of people who “met” Him multiplied, and they were instructed and rebuked in the Lord; the money issue would’t be an issue. Let’s focus on the front end and the back end will take care of itself. Actually, God will take care of His church, His bride.
    To be a church that represents Him, we must be exactly like Him, and He hated the self-righteous. He was out to condemn them at all costs. They never operated from a position of love, just from a position of pride. Maybe we need to turn the tables of the temple upside down and get back to the basics, but basically relevant to a modern-day class of sinners.

  4. Great questions…hard to answer. This debate has been going on for decades now and it seems that as our Church Culture races forward, we have to keep addressing it. I would say, it depends on your local community. The question we have to ask is, do we live in an area where if the “unchurched” visited our church, would they walk in the door on Sunday morning.

    In Jackson County, where we planted, people that aren’t connect will visit on Sunday mornings if they are searching and if they are invited. Even though 67% of the County doesn’t attend church regularly, when or if they do visit, they understand that “church” happens on Sunday. So, our environment is designed for an unchurched person to walk through the doors, from the signage, to the breakfast & coffee, music, creative elements, message and follow up strategy.

    We have a launch team that understood that we we do isn’t for them…but is done for those who aren’t connected to the Father, yet. the Core of NC passionately loves God and consistently loves people. For this reason, we have created and environment that a lot of veteran christians don’t like (we tend to run them off pretty quickly). We are OK with that, they are already assured in their salvation. Our goal is to push back the darkness by reaching those who don’t know the Father…who aren’t in love with Jesus.

    Now, understand, we aren’t teaching Gospel “light” and we aren’t watering down truth…we are just re-presenting it in a language that people get. We do a ton of backfilling in our messages because people don’t know all the stories and we never assume that everyone knows that Jesus is the way to God. Each week, i am surprised by the amount of people that have never heard the story. Our teaching is harder and more in-depth than most churches i have ever been a part of. We are bringing the full gospel.

    One passage in the NT says that we are to lift Jesus high and allow him to draw all people…the problem is that most churched people don’t want us to hold up Jesus because his way, his truth is too hard. And if we do, we will attract all the messy, unattractive things that come with reaching the world. So, we pretend to do church, make people happy and then go get lunch.

    It is a new day! Praise God it is a new day. And the revolution is advancing…churches are being planted. Men and women are rising up to leadership, and Jesus is being made known. Let us keep moving forward and let us keep lifting the Christ high. Let us reach those who havent been reached and if that means painting our building green…we, by all means, should do so. To a jew I am a jew…to a slave i am a slave…i change my preference…to reach the world.

    Sorry for the sermon…just real passionate about this.

  5. I want to belong to a church where leadership is more concerned about what God thinks, than what I think.

  6. Flav: His Heart…key. Not our preferences.
    Cal: There are churches that are doing something. You’re right we waste time talking about it. Don’t waste time. Go where God is working and is being worshipped instead of the preferences.
    Kurt: You’re all over it. You started this one and I appreciate the input.
    Hoffman: I dig what you are doing and the message is LOUD and clear.
    AO: Got it!

  7. The Church is God’s house – welcome to all (religious and sinners, alike). What makes it God’s house is what we’re taught once we get inside. What makes us God’s people is how we go out and apply what God teaches us (religious and sinners, alike). Let’s build a House for God that speaks to and loves both – after all – His word is meant to change lives (religious and sinners, alike).

    InChrist
    Marty

  8. I had to read that a few times to get the point. I have to say I agree. Along the same lines, the church I attend had a sermon series titled “it’s not about you”. I realy got my head turned around with that one. By the way I found your blog by clicking the random blog button on wordpress.com

  9. Welcome Erik with a “k”. People are always asking me if it’s a “c” or a “k”. I assume you get the same thing.

    I think you got the point to this post based on your comment about “it’s not about you” sermon series at your church. We’ve done a similar series in the past.

    We’re all sinners. Even those of us who have become Christ followers. Technically to the world we are called religious, but I don’t do what I do to be religious, I do it because of the relationship I have with Jesus. Therefore, most of the time religious people may not agree with me whereas sinners whether they are Christ followers or not can appreciate the love of Jesus if that’s what is coming from the church.

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