The Problem Isn’t Options!
First, if you haven’t read the blog from last Thursday, click here and check it out! After that I would like to continue our discussion of why we have to focus on a few things as a church. Go ahead and read it…
OK, here’s the first reason we MUST remain focused on the vision God has given us…
I am AMAZED at how many options there are in our culture and world today! In our pluralistic society just deciding what granola bar to buy can take time because there’s so many options! I even find this to be a common theme within our churches. It seems that we’ve adopted the same philosophy as the world when it comes to how we organize and structure the church. But when I look at the first church in the book of Acts I see a church that fought for simplicity and focus! In fact, if you read Acts 2:42-47 you see the purposes that the early church focused on…Worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, and serving!
What I have come to realize about church is that the problem isn’t our number of options. People don’t need more options…They need Jesus! Churches and Christianity as a whole aren’t declining in the U.S. because we don’t have enough choices. They are declining because we aren’t offering people the ONE choice that really matters…JESUS!
It’s amazing how at the moment we become Christians we go from serving other things (basically having idols in our lives) to serving Jesus but then over time we just replace the idols of the world with idols of religion! It’s like our Christian duties become space holders for space that should be reserved for and filled by Jesus. Basically our Christian duty becomes our idol because we give all we have to it rather than to pursuing a growing relationship with Christ!
Too many times churches fall into what I call the “Wal-mart” mentality! We can begin to think that if we offer EVERYTHING we will reach EVERYONE! The only problem is that while we become busy about all kinds of things we forsake the ONE thing that people really need!
Here’s a question to consider…If we are worshiping, serving, and hearing the Word of God together (Sunday Morning), raising up the next generation (Konnection Kids/212), having fellowship and growing in discipleship (Connect Groups), and taking the message to the world (Missions) what more do we need to do? WE DON’T NEED MORE OPTIONS WE NEED MORE JESUS! We need to be more focused on Him and less focused on more things to do!
Why is the tendency of the church to creep back into doing more? Why can’t we stay focused on fewer things so that we can do God things? The NUMBER ONE reason we don’t stay focused is FEAR! The fear goes something like this…If we don’t offer everything everyone else is offering we won’t grow or, even worse, people will leave and “go where their needs are met”! Here’s three quick observations we have to make about this fear:
- The people who leave because “their needs aren’t met” were going to leave anyway! And, don’t worry, it won’t be long before the new place isn’t meeting their needs either and they’ll come back to you or move on the next place that seems to promise utopia!
- We have got to quit enabling people by giving them space fillers rather than Jesus! Sometimes I wonder if churches attempting to add more and more space fillers in people’s lives is really an attempt to cover up the fact that their is nothing of real value (Jesus) to offer.
- We have to challenge people to move beyond our culture’s entitlement mentality! Life is not about us! It is about God and advancing His Kingdom. When we start looking to the needs of others it’s amazing how much our own need begins to fade away!
REMEMBER…Churches with a great focus on a God-given vision excel…churches that try to do everything for everybody fail!
We have to stay focused and we have to discipline ourselves to do less so that God can do more!