Several years ago I was standing in the congregation singing worship songs when it pierced my mind that we only sang songs in worship to God—Like “Exalt Him” or “Awesome God. If a Hebrew, Muslim, or Sun Worshipper were standing beside me, we could be singing the same song. We hardly ever sang a song which mentioned Jesus. That punched me hard! I believe our only communication to the Father is through his Son via the Holy Ghost. Did those songs ever reach the throne of God?
I believe that our One God is Triune, so maybe so. I know we must go through Jesus Christ for salvation. Probably for praise also. I do recognize that the Lord’s Prayer allows us to address “Our Father” so I’m not too dogmatic about this issue.
However, that is one of the issues that set me on a “Jesus Quest.” I could go to my own church first service then go visiting other churches. I found the same situations in nearly all of them. Most childrens’ department were decorated with “hip” Bible characters or beautiful animals from the Creation Story. Do you suppose the children were ever told that the Creation was by Jesus? It was—according to John.
I checked literature at the kiosks. Read through the mission statements, themes, Logos, Slogans. Very little showed Jesus in the church.
Here are the slogans:
Passion for a Deeper Life
Where No One is Left Behind & There’s Always Room For You
A Family of People Just Like You
Great City, Great People, Great Life
Big God! Live Loud!
For People Who Thought They Would Never Like Church
The Church that LAF’s – Love, Acceptance, Forgiveness
Helping You Get to the Other Side
Two Baptists and one Pentecostal mentions Christ/Jesus
BAPTIST – Sharing God’s love to transform people into full devoted followers of Christ.
BAPTIST – Helping People Know Jesus, Become Family, Serve the World,
Pentecostal – Christ-centered church building Christ-centered people
What does this say about Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life – our means of salvation?
I have loved all my church homes – small, middle-sized, and large. I have never had a mega-church as my home church. I know some people who do, and they appear to be happy – extremely loyal, but often not very faithful in attendance. I do believe church size contributes to its member’s maturity. The ability of the small church to nurture and teach one another, their accountability to one another, and generally their individual relationship with Jesus are the things that large churches form cell groups to attain; however, they probably do not have enough resources to have many ministries and helps to meet needs for different ages, interests, and problems. So, Small Church, be careful to not grow in. A large church provides a fantastic range of helps, ministries, talents, money, skills, and other resources to get things done; however, members in large churches can get by without being discipled, without being accountable, and without knowing Jesus. So, Large Church, be careful to not grow out. Small and Large Churches, recognize and appreciate the strengths of each other, thereby, helping you all to grow up.
We’ve been watching a church online, along with our own, that uses the phrase, “Jesus changes everything.” I really believe that’s the core of our teaching.
That’s great. In my Bible reading today, I came across an interesting verse touching on my subject Heb 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Oh, amen Oneta! Great revelation. You’re not alone in noticing that truth, either! We actually now have people who call out His name when we’re singing in church. I so appreciate them! Every time there is a “bless His holy name” they will just sing out, “Jesus.”
I actually paint “Jesus” on rocks and leave them on trails and in the park because I feel as if His name is so seldom known and so seldom heard.
That sounds so exciting. Scatter his name at every impulse. It is certainly not an impulse given by Satan! Do you suppose we will meet those in Heaven who are there because you followed an impulse?
Our First Alliance Church ‘slogan;’
“Love God, Love Others, and Live Fully Engaged in Christ’s Great Commission starting in Lexington, Kentucky.”
One of the great quotes from our lead pastor is that almost every sermon begins with thanking everyone for coming followed by; “I don’t know if FAC is your home church, but make sure you have one that teaches and preaches the Scriptures faithfully, to teach and preach Jesus from the Bible.”
Wonderful foundation upon which to build a church!
Great topic and question that seems to scare some people. Thanks for addressing it.
Thanks, Michael. Have you read the series that began on Monday. Sounds like you would enjoy all of them. I hope to see you more often. I’m confused about your name. I find several different last names for a Michael who I follow. Is that you?
I’ll check it out. I used to go by a pseudonym. Westover is my last name.
What a great insight. So many, in too many churches, have not a word to say about our Master Jesus. Jesus is King. Jesus is Judge. It is all about Jesus. That is the main thing about the main thing.
P. S. — Consider this:
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I’m with you!!! We are blessed to belong to a church where we lift up the name of Jesus in our corporate prayers, in our worship and especially in the preaching!!! I talking about Ezra, the Pastor reminded us Jesus was there!