Summary: The title of this message is “How to lose a guy in ten days". Unfortunately, most churches usually lose them in about 10 minutes. Let’s explore why that happens.
How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days
True story – Football team getting killed – guy fumbles and it rolls over by a teammate. The guy that fumbles yells, “pick it up” to which his teammate responds, “You pick it up. You dropped it.”
Well, I’ll tell you what, God is looking for some Christians, some church congregations that are willing to pick up the ball and run with it. And no matter what the opposition or the risks, or the fears, to realize you can’t score, you can’t make a difference unless your willing pick up the ball and do something with it.
Jesus gave us our commission in Matthew 28 where he said “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded..….
He’s saying, here’s the plan, here’s the agenda, now pick up the ball and run with it.
Unfortunately, across this country you will find church after church after church that is afraid to pick up the ball. Afraid to take a risk. Afraid to try something new. Afraid to make themselves vulnerable, and so what we see is church after church after church where people come in the doors and walk back out and don’t come back.
I titled this message “How to lose a guy in ten days”. The problem is that most churches usually lose them in about 10 minutes. Because they walk in the doors and they find places where people are fighting over music and traditions are more important than people’s salvation. They find churches doing things and looking the way they did forty years ago. They find attitudes that are holier-then-thou. They find lots of things, but too rarely do they find a community of believers that are loving, accepting, merciful, and genuinely concerned about people’s needs.
And yes there are risks to being that type of church. It can be challenging and stretching and uncomfortable. But we need to realize that we were never put here to just a warm a pew on Sunday or put in our time. We were put here to make a difference.
It was C.S. Lewis that said “If Christianity is real, then it stands to reason that those who become Christians should be better people than they were before.”
And we should. And we should make a difference. This community should not be the same as it would be if Olathe Christian Church wasn’t here.
Now, if we don’t want to make a difference. If we want to be the type of church that loses a guy in ten days or ten minutes. If we want to be a church that doesn’t make a difference in the lives of people then here are some basic ingredients to make us that kind of church.
If we want to be a church that loses people, that is not effective then:
#1 - Make traditions more important than people
I came across an article called, Ways to know your church is unfriendly. Here are some ways:
When the sign out front says – For members only
When the parking lot has a sign that says – unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owners expense.
When the church lobby has a sign that says – no loitering
When you say “Praise the Lord” and the guy behind you says – we don’t do that here.
When the pastors message is entitled “The Theological Significance of the eschatological dimensions of the sanctified life in the pre-millennial view of predestination.”
When they pass the plate – twice
When, at fellowship, coffee is $1.50 and donuts are $1.00 – limit one.
When the church’s motto is – We’re getting smaller but purer.
And we can add one - When traditions are more important then people’s needs.
You show me a church that’s losing people and I’ll show you a church that puts more emphasis on church traditions than on people’s salvation. I can almost guarantee it.
And the sad thing is that America is filled with them.
I heard a minister say one time, If 1950 ever rolls back around our church will be in a perfect position to reach people.
But 1950 isn’t going to roll around and so if we want to reach people and not lose them right away we need to be willing to know where people are, take some risks, make changes, be uncomfortable, in short, pick up the ball and run with it. And sometimes, sometimes traditions need to take a back seat.
Jesus warned about it, taught about it, modeled it, but so many still don’t get it. Throughout the bible we see Jesus breaking the traditions for a more important cause. One of the obvious ones was the healing of people on the Sabbath Day. The Religious leaders of the day considered that to be work and thus broke the Sabbath tradition of resting and not working.