Thursday, June 07, 2007

I Wonder......

I find myself wondering today (aloud here, as it were), “Can people really follow Jesus in an authentic, real, and sustainable way in the ‘American’ church?” I suppose the perplexing part is that I work in an American church. And I’m perfectly happy doing so, but……

Following Jesus doesn’t seem to always fit into the programmed, pre-packaged, organized, systematic, time-regulated, have all the answers for all your questions box that far too many American churches seem to operate in.

Perhaps you’d agree that life is difficult. Even if you’re not personally dealing with pain and struggle in your life, I bet you know someone who is. Or at least have heard of the pain and suffering that goes on around the country and the world. What happens when the stuff in the church box doesn’t have any affect on those situations? What happens when “doing all the right ‘church stuff’” doesn’t change any of it one bit?

I’ll tell you what happens because I’ve seen it over the course of my career. People get disillusioned and lose hope in something they were told makes a difference in their lives. They stop going to church because the people there are no different than anywhere else, and apart from meetings that take up space on their calendars, it has no impact on their lives.

I’m not claiming to have an answer to my original question, in fact I’m wondering myself. I am not disillusioned or losing hope, but I wonder. I wonder out loud to you to see what your thoughts are. I know this for a fact:

Jesus radically changed 12 guys that decided to hang out with Him for a few years. Those 12 guys were so changed that their friends and families noticed and became changed as well. And on and on it went. More than 2000 years later, Christianity – the belief that Jesus is the Christ (Savior) continues to change lives, mine included. I know in my heart that the difference is a relationship with the person of Jesus, and not just “doing all the right church stuff”, but does everyone else?

What about you? Do you have any experience with church - life changing or no? What about Jesus? Does it make a difference in your life? Would your friends and family agree? I’d love to hear from you.



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