Summary: This message was developed after reading Steve Meeks book "Relational Christianity." Christianity is not informational it’s relational.
A Needed Change
* Tonight I have not come to “preach” but just to share my heart with you. Yes, I am the Senior Pastor. Yes, I am called that because I am so old. Yes, we will end up being here for several minutes, taking a look at what I think might be THE issue for believers today, and maybe we’ll connect in the Spirit, but then again, we might not.
* Allow me to simply layout my thoughts and see if I can make some sense of this to you.
* All of my life I have seen church and “Christianity” basically done one way. Generally, the idea is to “go” to church, learn about God, learn Bible truths, observe the ordinances, and sing praises to God. In fact, some today would ask, “What else is there?” (hang on to that question)
* Additionally, we emphasize going visiting with the promoted idea of “winning” the lost person to Christ. However the truth is that most of those whom are visited already know the Lord or say they do. In actuality few are seen who are not of the faith. The reason for this is that church people have such little connection with those outside of the church and Christ. I’ll go so far as to suggest that, many times, the object of these visits is to enlarge the congregation more than make disciples.
* Furthermore, we tell people who are experiencing trouble to “come to church” and things will get better. However, if they come, what do they find? Do they really discover an environment which is conducive to finding answers to their difficulties, do they find a people who are seeking to up lift, uphold and encourage each other or something else?
* Committing seems to be thrown out as many, if not most, will not to say yes to anything which they feel they cannot get out of at a moment’s notice.
* Tonight I’m offering this because deep in my heart I have a spiritual unrest that I cannot get past. The more I seek God for an answer the more the answer seems to come that today, as believers, we are missing boat.
* It seems to me that the main emphasis of the day is placed on “church.” As I’ve already stated the mantra of the day seems to be “go to church”, “come to church”, “you need church” or even “you need to be in church”.
* Please hear my heart; “if this is my approach to Christianity I have sorely missed the boat.” The need of the person today is not church although attending the assembly is a part of the “believer’s life”. Honestly, most people have enough meetings and the like to “go” to. To reduce the need of the human soul to “church” is kind of like trying to heal cancer with an aspirin. There is not wrong with taking an aspirin, it is simply not sufficient.
* The need of the day is a return to the Biblical truth that it is not about church, heritage, or membership; it is about an ongoing, alive, daily relationship with “Jesus Christ”.
* John 8:32 says this, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
* A few weeks ago I mentioned that on Easter night Deb and I went with the girls to a church on the other side of town. As a part of that uplifting service, they showed a video in which several of their members gave testimonies. In essence every testimony carried the same message; “I once was in bondage, but now, I have been set free.”