Are we on the right mission? Jesus spoke out against the moral reformers (the Pharisees).
The Barna Group recently conducted a study among self-proclaimed American Christians. The results confirmed a lot of the world’s stereotypes about Christ’s followers.
51% of respondents were Pharisaic in both their attitudes and actions, while only 14% exhibited both attitudes and actions that resembled those of Christ.
It is very important for us to note that this is not intentional. We are Christians because we recognize that our deepest desire is to love and follow Christ. No one deliberately thinks or acts like a Pharisee.
Do you identify people as the masterpiece they could be or the mud they are now in?
Jesus brought great news. Pharisees brought bad news. Where do we get the idea that people have to hear bad news before they will respond to good news? In the first 2 1/2 years Jesus used hard words only 8 times and 6 of those moments were to the religious leaders.
Jesus offered relationship that restored value whereas the Pharisees distanced themselves and devalued others.
Jesus’ solution for sin was to offer the opportunity to have a healthy relationship with God and with others.
We now live in a post-Christian world. The best evangelists are like the woman at the well who are transformed and pointing those they know to Jesus.
What we see in the Scriptures that helps people follow Christ works today. Here’s the environment that is most helpful:
- One Jesus-like person with His attitude, who listens, serves, loves, and shares faith.
- A tribe of Christians they feel they can belong to (4-5 friends)
- “Come as you are” culture where they can learn and consider the ways of Jesus (12-18 months).
According to 1 Corinthians 3:6-9, our job is to till the soil. God’s job is to grow what was planted.
How do we do our job?
- Through a leadership mindset
- Training and values
- Visionary story-telling
Three ways your church culture needs to raise up the church out of the culture:
1. Create a “come as you are” culture of grace-giving acceptance.
Rom. 7 & 8:1 – God isn’t condemning you, but there to love you and help you become who He created you to be!
2. A culture of authentic community where “no perfect people allowed” It’s all about a loving God loving people.
See James 5:16
3. “Come as you are, BUT don’t stay that way.”