I often hear Christians say that we should be more like the early church. And I must admit, I’ve been one of those Christians. But if we linger on how this would look, I wonder how many of us would rather stay put in our 21st century churches. After all, first century Christians clung to a set of values that differs quite radically from most Christians today.
I do not condone the violence done in Paris this week. No one should. It was evil. The people who were shot were human beings who were loved by God and us. We, as Christians, must love them and do. All of them.
This is the brutal end of our Gospel. It may cost us our very lives, but we even then we have nothing to fear. We are a people of love. Charlie Hebdo did not represent that. Neither did the terrorists. Neither do our drones. We must find a new way forward.
Now is the time to be just as concerned about the slaughter of 2,000 women and children in a distant village in Nigeria as we are about the 17 killed in the destination spot of Paris. Now is the time to lovingly call our Christian brothers and sisters who’ve unwittingly reduced the Bible to the paper thin idolatries of “family values” and “single-issue voting,” in order to serve a political agenda, to re-imagine the real nature of God’s kingdom. Now is the time to end the pointless creation vs evolution debates and remind ourselves that the focus of Genesis is that human beings are created in the image of God.
Do not focus on reaching Millennials and catering to their every whim.
Focus on making disciples of your young people, your middle aged people, and your older people.
Disciples are the future of your church. Not Millennials. Not Gen-Zers.
So here is what I can promise you as an elder. And I think this is true for all of my fellow elders. Actually, this is true for most of the elders I know well.
I am going to heaven. I am going to lead my family there. And I am giving my life to getting all my flock there. I am not perfect. But follow me — us — and I promise you will get home safely.
Crouch also engaged with real people, not just those within a Christian circle. Try to imagine the following headline for the obituary of a notable CCM artist like Chris Tomlin, David Crowder or even Michael W. Smith: “One of the greatest gospel singers of his generation, known for his choral work with Michael Jackson and Madonna.” I can’t do it. Yet, that was what The Guardian used for Crouch.
I want to encourage you to pray this prayer on a regular basis…to “ask the Lord of the harvest…to send out workers into his harvest field.” Maybe that prayer would spark growth in our churches. Maybe it would result in a renewed desire for planting churches. Either way…Jesus told us to pray it and we should pray it.
- Pilots get sick of each other, just like the rest of us.
- Flying is so uncomfortable, even pilots have to use travel hacks.
- Pilots know interesting facts about planes, like why the windows are rounded.
- Pilots truly love looking out the window.
- Pilots hate flying with screaming children as much as we do.
- Pilots follow the flight attendants’ instructions (but don’t tattle on others who don’t if it’s not hurting anyone).
- Sitting next to pilot makes you feel pretty secure.
Watt sent seven-year-old Anthony Tarantelli his own autographed jersey, the cleats he wore during a three-sack performance in Jacksonville, and a video on which he said this:
“I love your confidence in yourself. I love that you believe in yourself, and I love that you’re willing to go out there and work to accomplish your goals and your dreams and make them a reality.”
Watt panned the video to show Anthony’s jersey hanging from a shelf amid helmets from Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Cameron Wake.
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[I’ve become a fan of Mental Floss. Here’s a couple of their latest offerings… Tim]