A couple of weeks ago, I teased in my Monday Musings that I felt a series coming on called “The Irresistible Jesus”. The subject matter sparked some interest on social media.
It was a recent visit with a group of university students at the University of Pretoria that ignited the thought and subsequent research of “the irresistible Jesus”. Since then, I have been invited to spend five sessions with that same group of students over the next five months, unpacking what made Jesus so irresistible in his day.
Presently, my personal devotional time has me reading through the gospel of Mark. I have decided to underline everything in Mark that refers to or gives hint of what made Jesus irresistible. This is some of what I found in the first five chapters.
“At once they left their nets and followed Him.”
“Without delay He called them, and they left…and followed Him.”
“The people were amazed at His teaching.”
“News about Him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.”
“This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’”
“A large crowd followed and pressed around Him.”
“If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.”
Here is an interesting line found in Mark 5: “But they laughed at Him.” We may just discover something about Jesus’ irresistibility through the resistibility of those who laughed at and hated Him! This needs to be a part of our conversation in the days ahead.
This past Saturday night, I suggested to the students that “the irresistible Jesus” should ultimately produce an “irresistible church”. So, I invited them to share with me what they felt would be the qualities of an irresistible church. By the way, these are some of the finest and sharpest young men and women from across the Continent of Africa. I have their permission to share their comments and engage you in a conversation. Here is how they responded:
- A church should be welcoming, warm, non judgmental and loving.
- The church needs an eradication of institutionalisation.
- There needs to be transparency, communication of sound scriptural interpretation; not confusing theology – we need to move from prosperity gospel and doctrines that don’t particularly fall in line with the word of God – pastor’s seem to be afraid to preach the truth.
- Their needs to be a sense of connection in the worship songs that we sing.
- The church is a place to be edified, even though we also read the Word for ourselves.
- The church needs approachable leadership.
- Favoritisms are not ideal; we want to be able to find help and as such form relationships with everyone (where possible).
- We don’t need idolisations where we elevate the gift over the Giver? We are content knowing that God is enough.
- We don’t want a church where we are pressured to give; we do not want to give in exchange for blessings.
- The church needs to be Holy Spirit led; the Holy Spirit should be given His place in church.
- Virtuous leader/pastor, a good example.
Conversations like this with the next generation will go a long way in the revitalisation of the church. I invite you to join me on this journey over the next five months and participate in the discussions.
Until next time…