From the Pastor: Are we attractive?

Dear TVBC,

Hope you are well on this cold Thursday.  But looking forward to a warmer weekend.  Come on, Spring!

This past Sunday, as we held our Ask the Pastor during halftime of the Super Bowl, a Muslim man from one of the neighborhoods around our church joined our live video feed on Facebook.  His questions centered on “Is Jesus’ God’s Son? Or is he is just a prophet?”  His public comments led to a private chat that continues over e-mail.

Pray for this man (God knows his name).  Pray for the Spirit to convict Him and draw him to Christ to be saved.

After talking with my new Muslim friend (a local to us – a neighborhood over), it got me thinking about how the church should operate. And, by God’s grace, I am reminded again that the Gospel is the most captivating, the most mesmerizing, and the most unfathomably wonderful news ever.

So how come we don’t preach or teach or talk like it is?

And isn’t it also true that most church-going folks are inundated 24/7/365 with charms to their ideas of gratification and enthusiasm? I mean, look at the Super Bowl commercials each year.  We’re continually implored to be giddy and invigorated and over-the-mountains thing by the next Hollywood movie or the new gadget Best Buy is selling, or, perhaps worst of all, the newest sea-extracted perfume.

The responses by most church is, honestly, disappointing. What we’ve done is offer up the same gobbly-goop as the marketers and advertisers.  Why?  Because we want to charm to desires previously present and then we hope to springboard off those into “throwing seeds” for God.

But history—biblical history—tells us otherwise.  Sure, the crowd that thought Jesus was “amazingly awesome” and “loved” Him when he was extraordinarily feeding them disappeared when he said they needed to eat his flesh and blood (John 6:60-61)

As it is, this approach to church is all about mimicking marketers’ intensity about junk and downplaying Jesus. TVBC, instead we should be talking, texting, messaging, preaching, serving, and worshiping—in other words, in everything we do (1 Cor. 10:31)—hard as if the treasures of Christ are enthralling, captivating, stirring, and powerful….because they are (Rom. 1:16-17)!

Yes, Gospel-centered and driven churches such as ours should be attractive. We ought to emit joy. Our preaching should be self-effacing, engaging, and clearly moved by the power of the Gospel and Holy Spirit.  This is not about tickling ears (2 Tim. 4:1-6). It’s about speaking and living as if we feel that the gospel is true…and, praise God, it is!

Church, as we pray for our area and our church, let us remember our power is in our matchless message, not in our inventions.  God is good!

A joy to be with you,