In this video John Stott discusses what he calls one of the most neglected themes in the Bible: Distinctiveness.
With all the clamoring for church to be seen as relevant in our culture, perhaps we – the Church – have lost sight of the call to be different. Not different for the sake of being different, but different nevertheless. Christians are to be different because, rather than being conformed to the principles of this world, we are more-and-more to be conformed to the likeness of Christ – in character, in passions, and in perspective. We are to be formed by the Word, and consequently we become different from those around us.
Relevance has it’s place. There is no merit in being irrelevant – and even less in just being weird. But relevance must be considered as only one item, and it must be understood alongside with how we are also to be different from the world around us, and distinct in the communities where we live.
2 thoughts on “Being the Church in the World: Distinctiveness”
“Relevance has it’s place. There is no merit in being irrelevant – and even less in just being weird. But relevance must be considered as only one item, and it must be understood alongside with how we are also to be different from the world around us, and distinct in the communities where we live.”
In our quest to be relevant to the world, we have forgotten that our message is THE MOST relevant thing the world needs. That message actually gets lost in our attempt to be relevant.
We think our music has to be cutting edge to attract the lost. The reality is that the local bar has a much better band, putting on a much better show than our “worship bands”. So people don’t need our music. They need our Messiah.
They don’t need our coffee, they need our Christ. Most of us know where to get a good cup of coffee. It is called Starbucks, not _________ church, .
They don’t need our ‘How to be better _________”, they can find that at Barnes and Noble.
What they need is something the world can not and does not offer: The Truth. If they can’t find it in church, where will they find it?
I often wonder what happens to the person who is seriously contemplating life and finally turns to one of our churches to see if maybe God is the answer. Will that person find the answer? They should, but will they?
I wrote a post about this earlier this year that shares my concerns on the matter: Is the Casual Approach to Church Producing Casual Christians? http://notforitchingears.com/2014/10/01/is-the-casual-approach-to-church-producing-casual-christians/
Thanks, Jim. Good thoughts.