I realize I've been pretty sporadic on the blog this summer, but it's only because God has been so busy in my life and heart that I've moved into a phase of intense listening. About the time I think I've learned something worth sharing, He says to me, "Be quiet. I'm not done teaching you yet."
Nevetheless, I do want to point you toward a fascinating video on YouTube that you might not have seen yet. I first encountered it at a teacher training earlier this summer, then came across it again today in an email sent by another simple church planter. Invest just 8 minutes to watch Did You Know? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U), and it may very well open your eyes to the task set before us.
Many of us are finally paying attention to how dramatically the world has changed in the past few years. How dramatically it's changing day-by-day. We're beginning to figure out that if the world is changing, then so must our presentation of the gospel.
Don't get me wrong: the gospel of Jesus is timeless and perfect, but it must be presented in a variety of ways to the diverse listeners out there. In fact, as we say in Line of Departure (see the link to the right), we're going to have to scramble if we're serious about building the kind of relationships that earn an audience for the Good News.
Diversity is exactly the reason I believe there's a place for traditional churches, megachurches, rural churches, urban churches, simple churches, etc. By simple, I mean those that meet in houses, neighborhood parks, coffeeshops, pubs, work places, or parking lots.
You see, the world thinks it has Christianity figured out. That it's outmoded. Outdated. Out of step with reality. Shame on us for giving them reason to think so. To be honest, too many Christians reinforce that misperception by the lackluster way they live their faith. The hateful way they live it. The untransformed way they live it. Or the bubble way they live it, isolating themselves in Christian enclaves with little outside influence or value. Can't deny I've been there.
Bob and I have been exploring our city with new eyes lately. Asking the Lord to help us really see where people are, who people are, how they're hurting, and how we can better connect them to the salvation of God in Christ Jesus. Pretty eye-opening to a couple of folks who, just a few months ago, were convinced this is an unusually "Christianized" community.
It's our own little version of Did You Know?