Monday, May 19, 2014
I thought this was insightful from Lee Powell, pastor of Cedar Creek Church (a GREAT church, by the way) in Toledo, OH.At best that is a theology answer, but it is not a practical answer. What do I mean when I say "theology answer." Well, all of those things can be summed up by the phrase, "The sensed their own sin."
He was recently asked by Leadership Network’s Eric Swanson why people came to Christ. Lee’s response:
- Something was broken
- Something was missing
- Something had changed
Christ is the answer to sin, He is the only answer and certainly a serious relationship with Christ comes from ever increasing awareness of our sinfulness and the humility such engenders. But given how little we preach sin, I wonder if that is really why people come initially.
Why do I not think it is a practical answer? Well, by restating sin in the way he does, this guy makes Jesus a solution, not a Lord and once the person feels their need met, they will not longer need to turn to Christ, and often will walk away. That's why we need to talk about sin more and brokenness less. In one sense that answers "Why do people come to church?" not "Why do they come to have a deep and abiding relationship with the Lord?"
This latter question is answered, almost exclusively I think, in the context of relationship. People come for a lot of reasons, but they stay because they feel loved. You see love shines a light on sin. Often we need not even speak of it, real love makes our unworthiness apparent.
As always, serious evangelism begins not with examining the motivation of those we seek to pull in, but in examining ourselves. If we let Christ work in us, evangelism will happen.