One of the hot phrases of this election season is “no more politics as usual.” In fact, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama referred to the past as a “monument” of accomplishments, but that under his presidency he would “focus on the future and moving America” in what he feels is the right direction.
I think if Jesus gave a “state of the church” address, he would say the same thing. Sometimes the church has the tendency to revel in the past. James Welch, a local church pastor here in New Orleans, made the comparison of Christianity being either a “movement” or a “monument.” If you look at Jesus’ life and ministry, he was always on the move. He was never in one place, and always focused on going out and meeting the needs of the community. In my opinion, one of the most audacious things the Church does is plan a “worship service” at a particular time and place, and expect non-Christians to clear their schedule, drop everything they are doing and show up wearing a coat and tie. Jesus never expected people to come to him; his ministry was all about movement. He went out into the community and engaged people where they were, meeting them in their culture, sharing the good news of salvation. Even when he was in the Temple preaching, it was a part of God’s bigger plan to reach the Temple officials and give them the chance to have eternal life through Christ.
So do I have something against church buildings? Absolutely not! I worship in one every Sunday morning. However, when it comes to making disciples and leading people to Christ, let’s step outside the walls and share the good news. Like Pastor James said, let’s avoid being just a monument of buildings in our community and turn Christianity into the powerful movement that Jesus began.
This week, I would like to ask for you to spend some time praying for two church planters here in New Orleans. They are really thinking outside of the box when it comes to preaching and teaching the Word. James at Sojourn uses an art gallery to reach a culture that is consumed with fine arts in the French Quarter Area.
James Welch at Sojourn Church
Rob at Vintage is reaching out to the people of Uptown, New Orleans. Their motto is "focus on being the church instead of just going to church." Both are extremely intentional about taking the church outside of the walls and reaching two communities that have little Christian presence.
Rob Wilton at Vintage Church