Monday, December 07, 2009
He's Right - It's Not Working
The plain truth is, the more you are accustomed to the full richness of the whole counsel of God on a regular basis, the more drab, uninteresting and downright boring mainline religion will become to you....or any other pre-packaged, spoon-fed "program" for achieving:
- your best life now
- eternal life
- all of the above
- 1 and 4 of the above
- 2 and 4 of the above
- none of the above
Think about that phrase, "...the full richness of the whole counsel of God...," even "all of the above" does not come close to that.
It seems we are always offering only some part of that "whole counsel." People clasp onto that part and hold on for dear life. How many times have I said that only to hear a preacher respond, "Well, I can't preach everything every Sunday." I never said you could. The "whole counsel," in all its richness cannot be preached, it must be lived. And it cannot even be lived by one person, for we are all sinners and we all fall short. Hence the community allows us to see it all, becasue in a healthy community they'll be someone with exhibiting the aspects that we are missing.
And so, our first priority, as a church, is not to bring in, but to become. To become the body of Christ exhibiting that full richness of the whole counsel. Doesn't that change how we do business tremendously?
More, doesn't that change how we live tremendously. As individuals we seek not to achieve but to become someone that exhibits as much of that whole counsel as possible. And then, when we do the business of the church, we worry more about who we are than what we do.
Consider a governing board meeting for just a minute - one where the focus was not on what to do, but on who we are. Instead of asking attendance questions we asked questions about faith and hope. Imagine that board working to exhibit that full richness.
There is a business adage, "You get what you measure." It is fair to say the church in general, mainline or evangelical is measuring the wrong things.