Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I've been struggling for a lot of years with developing an authentic faith in God and a genuine desire to be like Jesus. I guess it's something that I'll never stop doing because it's what "seeking" is all about. I know first hand that you can preach it and teach it while (at times) not truly seek it! For the last several years, the two words that have been echoing in my heart, maybe because God keeps repeating it to me, are BE REAL. Well, to make a long blog short, for a long time I've wanted to ask my whole church family to BE REAL about seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus. I've clearly and forcefully said that in sermons and classes, but I've never asked my church family, starting with the shepherds, to confront what it means to BE REAL before we BE CHURCH. I know that's not grammatically correct, but I'm sick of "doing church" without ever asking ourselves "What can we do to REALLY build deeper relationships with Jesus?" We always start out with the usual, traditional, cultural, and expected "How can we do more of what we've always done and get BETTER results?" Is the question really, "How can we do church better?" or should it be "How can we become more like Jesus?" What would happen if a church family just forgot about all the "church goals" and "church plans" and "church budgets" and focused on BEING REAL about becoming more like Jesus? What would we really look like as a church if we looked like Jesus? What would we do differently?
We're doing it! Or at least we're going to try. For the next two months we are going to spend some extra time in prayer about how to BE REAL and then we are spending the first three months of 2008 studying and praying a lot more about how we can look and act like Jesus instead of being the church the world says we should be. I don't know where it will lead, but I'm more excited about this than anything else I've done in over three decades of ministry. Here's the tough question - the one every child of God needs to struggle with and act upon, and the question every church family needs to be helping every member confront - What is keeping me from truly being like Jesus? It's time for the people of God to start looking like Jesus, both individually and congregationally - and that needs to drive everything we do! What might happen to a church where every member was driven to be as much like Jesus as possible? I want to find out.