Death Is Your Only Finish Line

The state of the “church” makes me sick to my stomach.

It’s selfish, riddled with self-serving ministries that mask themselves with the disguised buzzword “outreach,” and is as laughable today to the real world as ever before.

Why are we teaching people that accept Christ to completely turn their backs on their former life?

I can already hear the clicking of the keyboards with violent responses from people crushing me for the line I just typed.

“Jesus taught us to turn from our sin and live a life different than before.”

“We are a new creation.”

I get all of that. I also whole-heartedly agree, so hit the delete button on your reply.

Let’s really camp out in this space though.

Let me preface my talking points with this statement: if you are dealing with something horrific such as abuse, alcoholism, sexual addiction, or the host of other addictions, please accept Christ, seek help, find a new friend set, and run furiously away from that lifestyle.

What I’m really wanting to dig into with this entry are the Christians that accept Christ and then completely shut off the outside world.

Christianity is not a disease. You don’t have to quarantine yourself from the rest of society.

Be an influence to your current friend set. I have plenty of awesome friends in the church. I also have plenty of awesome friends that have no desire to ever step foot in a church.

However, through the grace of Jesus He’s given me an influence to set an example, answer questions, and just journey through life with them.

I’m sick and tired of Christians separating themselves from the rest of society. No wonder society thinks we are weird. It’s also no surprise that churches look around and wonder why they aren’t growing.

On a Sunday morning if all I see at SCC are Christians, it makes me want to vomit. If all you hang out with is other church people, then you are doing it wrong. To be perfectly blunt, being inward focused and secluded all the while keeping silent the message of the Gospel is just as wicked as living a life of horrific sin.

I’m blessed to be at SCC where our people do not complain about the music, at least not to me. They’ve always supported the musical vision and direction I’ve sought Christ to take us in.

However, here is something plenty of people need to hear in and out of my church: You wonder why young adults don’t continue to go to church after they grow up? Get out of your own way, Simply, Give A Crap About People, and get your focus off why you didn’t like the second song in the worship set or that the preaching is different than the last pastor that you used to have. 

We have the greatest story ever to tell people. Let me tell you, we’re pissing away a lot of opportunity to do so.

I talk a lot about Simply, Giving A Crap About People. I guess it’s become a tagline of some sort. I was recently asked, “how can I Simply, Give A Crap About People?”

The answer is simple, yet incredibly difficult…

You don’t need to understand people; you need to extend grace to them. That is exactly where it begins.

Listen, I love the church. I really do. I’ve invested much of my child, youth, and adult life to her. I will continue to do so. The thing that frustrates me the most though, is the church can be so vital to the heartbeat of society, yet we are choosing to be a determent. Most of the time by way of apathy.

Our church is moving locations. We are going from the north side of Indianapolis to here in Plainfield. The move is perfect because a good portion of the church live and work on the west side.

On November 13th at our new location 238 N. Vine St. Plainfield, IN 46168 I will be preaching at SCC for the very first time.

I understand I’m entering into a world of second guessing, questioning, and newness. I’m a worship leader. I don’t typically speak in public. However, when God prods, you say okay.

Every word in the English language I could use to articulate ever so eloquently my points, carry with them a baggage of different views and responses from a whole host of different people. So it’s naive of me to assume I could find the right language to change the minds of the people that don’t already agree with me.

I understand the majority of the audience who reads The Present Day Man blog are people who agree with the content about which I am writing. That’s the very definition of “platform.”

What I’ve learned is dialogue is the beginning of change. The issue though, is often we stay in the dialogue phase when we should be well into the action phase. Open dialogue is good, but open dialogue that doesn’t precede action is just a recipe for complacency and maintaining the status quo.

I hesitate to claim some sort of battle cry for my generation. I’m fully of the belief that if you aren’t dead, God isn’t done with you. Our only finish line in life is death. It’s not a degree, goals, marriage, a career, retirement, or even crossing out every line item on the all elusive bucket list.

I don’t care what your age, status, race, sex, or ability is. If you are alive today, you are made in the image of God. Period.

Some of you can see the finish line. Others of you can’t. Regardless, in the spirit of the Olympic season, keep pursuing because you are influential, beautiful, and incredibly important regardless of your gifting.

I. Love. You.

Keep running…

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