What does OneLife care most about? If you don’t go to OneLife, what does your church care most about? Some churches care most about:
- The piano. When I got married, we nearly got kicked out of the church where our wedding was held because we dared to ask if we could move the piano five feet to the right. Big mistake!
- Graveyards. I saw a banner for a church that advertised none other than their Annual Graveyard Day. Come enjoy live music, games for the kids, and a cakewalk as we celebrate 165 years of our graveyard’s service to the community! Ummmmm…
- Reserved Seating. My wife told me about a church she went to that literally reserved seats for the richest people. These special people had a reserved sign and fancy pad on “their” pew. I guess everyone else has to sit on a hard, wooden pew and just dream of the day they have their own pew pad.
Of course those are the unusual ones. But even the most well intentioned church – like OneLife – cares about things that get us distracted from what we should truly care most about. We care about things like:
- Sunday mornings. Sundays are incredibly important. They are the one day we all gather to worship. They are the most likely time a person will visit a church and hear the Gospel publicly. But should they be the only time we worship? The only time someone will hear the Gospel? NO! So we must be careful that as we strive to do great things like be culturally relevant, creative, and (dare I say it?!) attractional we don’t subliminally communicate that the most important part of being a Christian is an hour on Sundays. It’s just one piece of the puzzle. (PS…if you don’t know what attractional means, count yourself as a lucky one who hasn’t been sucked into a useless debate in the church world. But I’ll save that soapbox for another day! )
- Ministries and Missions. Volunteer, join a small group, go on a mission trip, send your kids to Student Ministry, go to a Bible study, meet one-on-one with somebody, feed the homeless, and on and on the list goes of what our churches tell you to do. Are any of these bad? No! Am I suggesting that if you do these then you should stop? Of course not! But if this is what you or our church care about most, the point has been missed in a major way.
- Decisions. This was a hard one for me to shed. But believe it or not, the number of people raising their hand, marking a card, or walking an aisle to make “decisions” for salvation should not be what we care most about. If you find that hard to believe, give me one more minute. It was hard for me, too.
Jesus’ last words on earth were, “Go! Make disciples!” Plain and simple. Not…
- “Go! Have awesome Sunday morning services!”
- “Go! Get busy at church!”
- “Go! Get lots of people to say they are Christians now!”
- “Go! Sit in a Bible study once a week and say you are now a disciple!”
Again, I’m not saying we stop any of those! They are all great! But not a single one should be what we care most about. We should care most about doing what Jesus said to do: Make disciples.
So what is that? How do you do it…really? This post is long enough already, so we’ll tackle that one next on Monday. For now, do some pondering again about what you and your church care most about. Is it making disciples? I mean really making disciples? Or something else?
OneLifers, I’ll see ya’ll tomorrow as we strive to make disciples and worship Jesus!