We’ve recently gone through a series on How to Reach Them and we talked about the different kinds of things that we can do to reach those that are lost. We are indeed living in different times– defined by two different groups of people.
Christians Tending to Themselves
This first group of Christians realizes that the numbers in the church are dwindling, but doesn’t know what to do about it. I characterize them by the following ideas:
- We have to keep the programs that we’ve always had running.
- We can’t try different classrooms, because the ones we have have always worked.
- We don’t have time during the week to do anything but the services that we normally attend. Don’t ask us to attend service on a special night.
- We have a problem with family so-and-so, or with the way the church is being run, so we may not be back.
It is these people that are forgetting two very important things. Christ’s command that we love one another as He loved us was specifically addressed to believers about believers. That doesn’t mean that we love sin, but that does mean that we should go out of our way to try to restore one another, and to look after one another.
The other thing that I think gets forgotten here is that if we’re so busy ministering to each other– who’s out reaching lost souls and discipling new converts. Christianity was never meant to be a stale, treading-water affair, but was meant to be a vibrant faith that spread.
Christians Justifying the Means
This next category of Christian will do anything to get the message out– including some of the things I showed in a post last week. It seems that no trick is to low, no idea to far away that a Christian will try it.
Some will use cheap tricks with $20 bills to try to get the Gospel out. Now, no matter what you think about tract’s effectiveness, trying to hook people by making one look like a $20 just to have it be something else is deceitful. Or maybe dressing in immodest attire and parading around a sanctuary is more the right thing to do. Now I know that these are catholic nuns, but it’s just a matter of time until Protestants see how many men are coming in to see the women.
And it’s not just these blatant problems, it’s more subtle ones. Christians will use gimmicks to get people in. I have to admit, while writing my series I had to keep thinking about whether I was trying to do a gimmick, or really trying to reach people in a Biblical way.
We Need to Get Back to Basics
What we need is to get back to the Word. To get back to original Christianity and the power of the Cross. If we could realize what we’re here to do, and focus on that rather than ourselves I think that we’d see a big difference in our churches. We wouldn’t have to rely on gimmicks, trickery, or clowns leading a service. The Word of God and how it impacts lives would be on display as we lived the Word of God in our lives and in our services.