The old adage, “What comes first…the chicken or the egg?” is a real issue within most real issues.
What comes first in a desired goal or objective?
I have just wrapped up a sermon series titled “iamchurch.” This series has focused on the reality of church life and our role in it by looking at the first 6 chapters of Acts. During this series we have discussed the real issue about how churches become what God desires them to become. The church becomes what God desires it to become when the individuals in it become what God desires them to become.
This past year I have really challenged Fellowship with this thought. You should never expect your church to be what you are not.
I believe we must come to the point individually where we do not ask of our church corporately what we are not willing to ask of ourselves indivudally. Why? Because the church will never be what we are not. The church is made up of its members. The Church corporately is simply the sum of the individuals in it.
So, with this challenge, I wrapped up the series with this truth from Acts. I gave this definition for church. The church is a radical community of radical people with one radical cause.
The reality, though, is that the majority of us as Christians and, therefore, our churches have instead become comfortable communities of comfortable people with comfortable causes.
So, this truth challenges me to ask, how do we move from comfortable to radical. This question is more difficult than it would seem. The answer would seem to be “do radical stuff.”
The tough part about being the church though is not that we do radical things but that we become radical people who have experienced radical change.
So, what comes first…the chicken or the egg? What comes first doing radical things or being a radical person?
How do we experience this change individually? How do we seek after it corporately?
I came to these conclusions as I read through the amazing narrative of the beginning of the Church that is the Book of Acts…
Doing radical things does not make a person nor a church radical for Christ.
New and radical sounds in music will not make your church radical for Christ.
New and radical creative ways to teach will not make your church radical for Christ.
Being radical people for Christ will, however, cause your church to radical things for Christ.
New and radical people will be open to experiencing new and radical things in Christ.
New and radical people will be radical about sharing the Gospel with those around them.
New and radical people will make up a new and radical church that does new and radical things.
But don’t get the cart before the horse. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. (I am trying my hand at cliché using in honor of Pastor Joey.)
Just because you do cool stuff at your church every Sunday does not mean you will ever become a radical community of radical people with one radical cause.
We, as church leaders and as church members, must make it our goal to build one another up into radical people.
We do this by sharing in a unified cause for the Gospel…by encouraging and praying for and with one another…by holding up the Word of God and holding each other to its truths…by pushing each other to be witnesses of the Good news of Jesus Christ to the world around us.
A church that is doing these things will be made up of people doing these things. And these individuals will bring all kinds of new approaches and radical ideas together for the cause of Christ.
I hope this truth sinks in with those who think simply changing the way we “do” church will change the church?
I also hope it challenges those who think that changed people will never change the way we “do” church?
Both must happen for us stay radical for this radical cause.