Tired of Doing Church!
A very interesting comment recently on this blog got me thinking about some things. For weeks now I have been mulling over some stuff in my brain. I don’t have all the answers. Sometimes I wish I did, then right after I think that I’m glad I don’t have the pressure of knowing everything. I confess, I’m tired of “doing” church. It seems that church has become more of a market (churchmarketingsucks.com). While the church does have to present itself in a certain way, I’m just beginning to wonder if what the church really is supposed to be is getting lost in a whirl-wind of marketing, branding & culturally relevant conversations.
I read a great quote from my wife’s cousin, Jared Moore, that goes like this,
“We do not become culturally relevant when we become like the culture, but rather when we model what the culture hungers to become.”
Do I think the church needs to brand itself well? Yes! Do I think we need to market ourselves better? Yes! Do I think we need to be culturally relevant? Yes! Do I think the church is losing the definition of what it is really here for in the midst of all these attempts? In some cases, yes! From my experience it seems that the people involved in the church just want to continue “doing” church as is. Even if you have to fake it to get through, just keep “doing” it. God is blessed with our half-heart efforts and sacrifices as long as we just keep “doing” church. I’m not convinced that this is a correct assumption. In fact, I think this attitude flies in the face of many Scriptural precedents. Namely that God is not interested in us just “doing” church to get by, but that He wants the entirety of our hearts and lives.
It’s time for the church to stop “doing” church. It’s time to start “being” it. Time to live out the glory of God in our lives so that what God stands for is reflected in what we stand for. It’s time to “be” the church right where we are. Are you standing in Starbuck’s getting a white chocolate mocha with skim milk, three shots of espresso and warmed to a sultry 160 degrees? Then be the church, be the reflection of God’s glory and what He stands for to the barista. Are you going to a ball game tonight? Then be the church, be the reflection of God’s glory and of what the culture longs to have where you are. Are you going on a date with that special someone? Then be the church, be the reflection of what God desires in purity in the car when you’re about to go inside. The stigma that we “do” church a certain way has run out of time with me. I don’t believe it works. You don’t need a bumper sticker that says, “Follow me to Jesus.” You don’t need a Godwitter account (and I don’t recommend it). You don’t need a Godtube (now Tangle.com) account. We need to “be” what the culture craves.
In reality, the church, the people who make up the church are the salt and light. We are to “be” what draws people to God, what makes them hunger for Him, what makes them thirst for what they are missing. The church is the catalyst, a group of people, who through their lives, direct people to the very heart of God. And that’s what we are. At the least, it is who we should be. Be culturally relevant, market and brand well. But don’t “do” to the point of losing the “being!”
Thoughts? Did I miss something? What would you add?