Gravity is not something we can see or feel. However, it’s constantly at work. Gravity works like a magnet pulling us in invisible, intangible and often unnoticed ways.
Whether we recognize it or not, there’s a special kind of gravity at work every day in the church. The gravitational pull on every church...is to turn inward.
I am convinced that almost every church begins with an outward focus. However, over time, gravity has its way. All of us are by nature self centered and we want what we want. We want programs and ministries that meet our family’s preferences and needs. I call it the sin of preference.
In the meantime, we love our church. Our friends do, as well. Over time, we surround ourselves with more and more of these Christian friends who have the same preferences and interests. Over time, the gravitational pull of the church is to do 99% of what the church does serves our interests and preferences.
This is how it happens. Over time. No one planned this. It just happened. Slowly, invisibly, gravity had its way...and the church turned into a Christian Country Club for the Frozen Chosen. I call it..."the pull."
Friends, let’s decide today we will not allow this to happen to our church. Let’s fight gravity in our church! How?
FOUR WAYS TO FIGHT AGAINST GRAVITY IN THE CHURCH
1. Talk about "the pull."
Call out the gravitational pull at work in the church. Teach people to recognize the gravitational pull within the church...and within each of us. Teach people how to repent from and abandon the sin of preference in the church. Challenge them not to think only of themselves.
2. Teach the Whole Gospel.
Teach about the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine to go after the one. Talk about the lost coin and the lost pearl. Talk about Jesus coming to seek and save those who are lost. Talk about eternity. Talk about Heaven. Talk about Hell. Teach evangelism. Hold people accountable to it. Teach people to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Jesus!
3. Seek outside perspective and counsel.
We often lack perspective the longer we've been an insider. Bring someone in to assess how you're doing in your fight against "the pull." The best outside perspectives will also offer counsel and strategies on how your church can fight against "the pull." By the way, we love doing this for and with churches!
Drop us a line and we can talk about what this can look like for you!
4. Celebrate what Heaven celebrates.
Heaven rejoices more over one sinner repenting than a building full of Christians (my paraphrase of Lk 15:10). Don’t just just celebrate new buildings and campuses, and more nickels and noses. Celebrate what Jesus celebrates! Celebrate when people turn from death to life! Celebrate life change. Celebrate people going public with their faith through water baptism. Celebrate when broken people walk through the doors. Celebrate repentance. Celebrate what Jesus celebrates!
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Luke 15:7 (NIV)