We have made to Gospel too complex. We have created ministries and churches with big buildings, large salaries and unnecessary overhead; all in the name of spreading the gospel. We have fundraising drives to raise money for building projects, or missionaries. We become so ministry-minded, focused on growing our ministries through programs, advertising, books, TV programs, music CD’s and the like. These things are not bad, but are not required to reach the lost.

We follow the method of big business to gather more “clients.” We use giveaways, gimmicks and worse yet, guilt. The sign of a healthy church has become numbers, trouble is most of the growth is not actually new believers, but rather transfers from other churches. The church has become a club where we can socialize, gain friends and get a nice little blessing. We think bigger is better. We want to reach people Walmart-style; offering a great product for a small cost. I think we have truly missed the point.

What has happened to spontaneity in our lives? We are so consumed with our own lives, our goals and pursuits that we have no time for others. 40 years ago you could just stop by a neighbor’s or friend’s house and have a coffee for an hour without having to preplan a coffee date. Society used to be so laid back and life, enjoyable. Now it’s go, go, go. I want to be the person that is actually available for others “all the time.” I want friends or neighbors to drop by and I will gladly invite them in for a coffee or lunch. Our houses soooo clean that Heaven forbid someone should see a little mess. What a better way to show interest in someone’s life, when they stop by and we say “Come in. Do you have time for a coffee?”

This is probably the best way to share what Christ has done in our lives, but ironically we are more concerned about increasing our bank roll so we can give more to missions, or worse yet, spend it on ourselves! I am all for “making money”, but I want my bank account to be large so that I can go and fill up my friends fridge with food when they are barely making ends meet or buy a car for a single mom in need. It’s about meeting a need when we come across one. It’s great to give to missions, and I do, but what about reaching those around us so that we can show the love of Christ. I think the reason that we don’t is that it’s too personal and it is much easier to give our money and someone else can take care of the “showing love” part of things on the other side of the world. Jesus never went around giving money to the poor. He offered them the life of God and then they became a part of their community. It’s great to feed the hungry, but if that’s all we are doing, we have missed it. There’s a old saying “Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a life time.” But that is a topic for another blog.

Sure I am going to get people that think I am against church programs or missions. These ways work (somewhat), but I look at the method of the early church at reaching the lost and it is hardly found in our day and time. They were one big community. They worshipped together, learned God’s Word together and ate together. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a community where you got together with friends and enjoyed life. A community where you get help from friends and the Power of God flows. Our culture is too busy for that, but we can change that. What are your thoughts?