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The Irresistible Jesus – 02/9/15

StmSteepleWorkThe Irresistible Jesus

Last Saturday afternoon, I read this headline article on churchleaders.com, Andy Stanley: The church is too ‘resistible’, needs rebranding.

“In the first message of a new series this past Sunday, February 1, megachurch pastor Andy Stanley told the congregation at North Point Community Church that the Christian church at large has become “unnecessarily resistible” to newcomers, its stubborn ‘temple model’ needing a rebrand. Stanley began the sermon by praising the changes made to Christian churches in the recent past: Steeples, choirs and suits are a thing of the past, and the church is much more ‘accessible for people who weren’t into the church thing’”.

To read the full article and subsequent comments on social media, go to http://www.churchleaders.com/daily-buzz/247913-andy-stanley-church-resistible-needs-rebranding.html.

A few hours later, I drove to the University of Pretoria to speak to a group of about fifty Chi Alpha students. With the article fresh on my mind, I asked the students about their view of the church.

The following is a sample of some of their comments:

The church has become about “marketing” Jesus
The church manipulates people into a relationship with Jesus
The church has secularised Jesus (making Him fit into the world’s way of thinking)
The church seems unwilling to include the next generation
The church has become about tradition and title (position and power)
The church is about competition – whose church is the biggest and why you should come to our church
The church is good at getting people saved but fails when it comes to discipleship

Contrary to what some might be thinking, this was not a generational gripe session, these students genuinely appreciated that someone was willing to listen. My willingness to ask the question and listen to the responses that followed, ignited for me a weekend of late night thinking and writing. What made Jesus “irresistible” in the Bible?

Perhaps we have concentrated so much on marketing the church, that we have diminished the irresistibility of the Head of the church! As a matter of fact, maybe our emphasis on tradition and title, (position and power) has led people to a dilution of the person of Jesus and the allusion of His ineffectiveness in our day to day life.

Today’s musing has more questions than answers. I am just at the beginning of this journey and am not yet ready to dismantle church steeples. However, if after revisiting the writers of the New Testament to see what made Jesus so irresistible in His day, I discover that I have done anything to make Him resistible, I am prepared to tear it down.

I feel a series coming on: “The Irresistible Jesus”.

Until next time…

Don

www.rtc21.org

2 Comments

  • Richard

    February 25, 2015

    Enjoy your musings as always perfect for short exaltations with friends . But I have a rhetorical question to ask. Was Jesus “irresistible”. I am afraid the answer is like a two-edged sword. For example the Sadducees and Pharisees did not at all find him attractive. And it was the same people who said “Hosanna” while he was on his way to Jerusalem, after Jesus turned the tables in the Temple were saying Crucify Crucify him within a week.

    My take on what the students said are the following :

    The church has become about “marketing” Jesus.
    —I think we as believers have become too politically correct. “marketing” could simply mean reinventing the relevance of Jesus in a today’s world. We have various versions of the KJV, so that the Word can be easily accessible to people.
    The church manipulates people into a relationship with Jesus.
    —- At the end of the day, With your mouth confession is made and you believe with your heart. No one manipulates anyone into a relationship, you have free will.
    The church has secularised Jesus (making Him fit into the world’s way of thinking)
    – Totally agree in some instances
    The church seems unwilling to include the next generation.
    – Definitely not through most of churches realize that the youth are the future. Just as there was a struggle for Jesus as 2 years old. There is a spiritual battle for the lives of the next generation.
    The church has become about tradition and title (position and power)
    — Not in the Pentecostal church that I know off.
    The church is about competition – whose church is the biggest and why you should come to our church.
    — Such people are Canal minded. It happens but not the norm.
    The church is good at getting people saved but fails when it comes to discipleship
    — We encounter this at most churches. But you must also have a zeal to seek out help and instruction when you are at crossroads.

    Reply
    • rtcblog

      March 1, 2015

      There is more to come Richard. It should lead to some interesting conversation. Don

      Reply

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