Oh, dear, we are in the second week of January and nobody has asked my advice for a 2018 theme or slogan for their church. I so much wanted to be consulted! I was all ready to say – let’s blaze new trails and go to something like “repent and be baptized” or “trust and obey” or “stand up and walk straight” or “confess your sins and make restoration.”
Well, there’s always next year. But if any of you know a church that has leanin’s toward the above suggestions, please let me know. There are probably lots of sinners who would love a place like that. Some of them are hoping to find help and hope. Admittedly some just want to join the crowd and church is a nice place to do that.
A few years ago, I went on a Jesus Quest, visiting churches to see where I could find some promotion of Jesus – songs, logos, mission statements, slogans. I visited eleven “up and coming” churches of the Pentecostal persuasion plus some Baptist. Six of the eleven mentioned Christ or Jesus in their mission statements; three had Christ or Jesus in their mottoes. In online mottoes this morning, I find three of 135 who mention Savior or Christ – “Savior” in Germany and three “Christ Church,” London, Florida, and Australia.
There were mottoes that Christians would understand, but they don’t say much to the sinner who doesn’t already know the significance, such as Emmaus, Emmanuel, Resurrection, Unity, Cornerstone, etc. Many relate to having a better more victorious life here on earth: Passion, Growing Together, Great City, Great People, Great Life, Great God, Life Loud. And of particular interest, A Family of People Just Like You. I ask, is that what the sinner is looking for?
Maybe the sinner would find hope in “Come on in, we can point you to the man who can take away your sins, His name is Jesus.”
I’ve said before and my life (and writing prove it) I am “churchy” because it is instituted by God’s as his vehicle helping people know and grow in him. The devil loves to find an isolated soul. So easy to pick off when he is all alone. Basically the New Testament writers assume Christians are going to meet together for fellowship and “researching the scriptures.”
Fellowship and teaching are essential, but so is bringing in the sinner. There is no model in the NT church for Christians “winging” it on their own if they had a choice. I don’t think John had much choice out there on Patmos. (Now that is definitely a statement for Christians, isn’t it?)
Let the church at least invite sinners in instead of exchanging sheep.
(Some time ago I did a study on the “missions” of the church. About fourteen or fifteen things that are a function of the church. Think I’ll go see if I can find them. Maybe some of you would like a look. :D)