Picture a Race Car Driver who uses regular gasoline instead of high-octane. He’s not going to win. In fact, you’d have some serious questions about this driver. Does he not care about winning? Does he just have no idea? Or is he too cheap to do what it takes to accomplish his goal?
Now picture a church that does something that will impair its ability to accomplish its mission of connecting with people who are far from God and bringing them to Jesus. Maybe you’d have some questions. Do they care about the mission? Do they just have no idea? Or maybe they’re just not willing to do what it takes?
Thought I’d share a few ways I see churches doing things (often small things) that I believe impair its ability to accomplish its mission. Here’s another one:
The worship leader has everyone stand, encourages them to raise their hands to God, and the band kicks in. Everyone starts to sing. The word are on the screen and so you read them. They assert that we’re “saved by the blood of the lamb” and as “the redeemed” we all sing “hallelujah.”
As a Christian you might feel like you’re being brought “before the throne of God,” which is exactly what the worship leader says he’s doing to you. But as a non-Christian? As a non-Christian you feel like someone needs to get me out of here. Which is exactly what you wish someone would do for you.
Think about it. What if out of curiosity you very cautiously went to the worship service of a religion you didn’t know much about. And in the middle of the service everyone started singing about blood. And about animals dying. And using words that were unfamiliar to you. Are you gonna go back? Or are you going to get out of there as quick as you can?
We’re instructed in the Bible to not do things in our worship service that are confusing to non-believers (see 1 Corinthians 14:23) and to not make it difficult for people who are trying to turn to God (see Acts 15:19). And there are songs we can sing and words we can use that allow Christians to worship God without confusing or turning away people who are seeking God.