Are we confused Christians or people Jesus would be proud of?
I read a great article today entitled: Blessed are the un-cool by Rachel Held Evens. This article talks about how Rachel, being a progressive 30 year old, doesn't attend a super-hip-church. You know the ones that give you the awesome worship experience version of "Christian sermons". It was interesting to see Rachel's take on Jesus' favorite people and the Christian ministry of an uncool church. We all know Jesus was running with the uncool crowd - prostitutes, tax collectors, and the unclean. Do you have these people at your church? Does this mean the hip churches are confused Christians? Not all of them, at least no more than some of the un-hip churches. Our church is a pretty uncool church if you define coolness by having a live band, and a light and smoke system similar to an Elton John concert.
So by this definitions we are not a cool church. We have been able to do some pretty cool things though. A few weeks ago we bagged beans for a mission. This was really fun and it was helping others. Have we also been confused Christians though? What is a confused Christian you may be asking yourself? Well I define confused Christians as people who miss the point of why we go to church, what it means to be a Christian, and what the Christian ministry is all about. In my mind this means excepting everyone for who they are and welcoming all to come and participate by joining us in all we do as a church in the Christian ministry.
I recently went to a mega-church. Everyone dressed to the nines in all the ultra-cool trendy outfits. Our church is certainly not this trendy, so does this make us an uncool church? The purpose of our church is not to be a cool or an uncool church, it is too make a difference in the world around us and share the Christian ministry and reach out to all at least this is my opinion.
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So Rachel's article talks about excepting the weird people, the homeless and people that are different from you. After all, these are Jesus' favorite people. When I think of confused Christians, I think of people who go to church every week, take in the sermons but do not apply the Christian ministry to their own life or use it to help others. I am not calling anyone out, because I too have been guilty of this at times. I know we are all human and sometimes all have been guilty of not really taking the sermons to heart. I am wondering though how we all may become less confused. How we can apply what Jesus would have us do to our everyday lives.
Confused Christians judges others and would like to throw the homeless out of their church meetings. I have seen this happen at our church, but I have also seen some pretty amazing compassion at our church. Last week I saw several people reach out and welcome a young man with tattoos who was not dressed like a "typical" churched person. This young man would definitely be one of Jesus' favorite people and it warmed my heart to see so many people of all ages and personalities reach out and welcome this young man. To me this is what it means to be Christian. I was proud to see our church members stepping up to the challenge.
When you see these different, weird, and homeless people do you reach out and welcome them or do you turn the other way before they see you looking? If this is how we treat people in church, what happens outside of the church when we run into Jesus' favorite people? How could we redefine cool by being more like Jesus and helping Jesus' favorite people? It would be great to internally educate your congregation and society on what it's like to be different or homeless and actually walk in other people's shoes so we can become less judging. Maybe just working in an outreach program like Meals on Wheels, the Food Bank, a homeless shelter or an organization like the Samaritan House that helps people with aids get back on their feet or the Ladder Alliance helping at risk women. You would learn more about these different people and how much they are actually looking for the same things you want out of life- happiness, joy, success, friends, love.
What could you do or what could we do together to make a difference for these people? How could we better our community by reaching out to these people and helping them? It doesn't matter if you go to a cool or uncool church or if you go to church at all for that matter. What can we all do to make a better place for the people around us… weird or not?
Share your thoughts as a comment below.