Thursday, August 29, 2013

Which is Your Favorite: Judgmental, Hypocritical, Boring?

These are the three things that unchurched people most often say characterizes the church or Christianity.  So whether true or not (and I would argue, not on the whole), the church does seem to have an image problem at least, and some of it is because that there are real examples of Christians and churches exhibiting all three of these negative traits. 

Which is the most offensive to you?  For me, it's the charge of being boring.  I may be able to convince others I am gracious and not at all judgmental, but they may still think I am a hypocrite and boring.  I may be able to convince them that I am not a hypocrite, but they may still think of me as judgmental and boring.

But if I can show them that I am not boring, but interesting, they will soon discover also that I am neither judgmental nor hypocritical. 

So how about it, church?  Let's find ways to be creative and interesting.  We serve and are made in the image of the most magnificent creator of all - the Creator of the universe!  So the church should be the one place overflowing with creativity.  We can do this!

Here's how.  First, actively recruit creative people to help us in every area of ministry.  "But creative people feel like it has to be done their way."  Right, so let's keep them out so we can get it done ... uh ... our way?  (preaching to myself, here)  No!  It will be messy.  Creativity always is.  But the end result has the potential to be awe inspiring. 

Second, let's put everything on the table.  What can we change?  What should we stop?  What should we begin?  What should we leave untouched?  How do we go about it?  How do we reach out to our unchurched friends and help these real people, living in the real world, dealing with real issues, become real disciples of Jesus?  If we already knew how to do that well, we'd be doing it, right?  So let's get creative!  Once stuff is on the table, and we have creative people on the team, then we need to ... well, see that's where the creative thing comes in.

May you tap into that part of the image of God in you that is most creative.  May you begin to see possibilities and options that had never before occurred to you, and get excited about them.  May you find that in creativity, there is joy and strength, and a way to draw closer to the heart of God.  May our creativity, expressed with grace and in the uncompromising service of the Gospel, also dispel any notions of hypocrisy or judgmentalism that others may have of us.  And may our churches become hubs of creativity, so that the world will know we really do belong to the Creator of all things.


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