Christopher B. Harbin
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19; Ps 24; Amos 7:7-15; Mark 6:14-29
George Barna says "Many people name Jesus as their savior, but relatively few have lives that consistently demonstrate He is truly Lord of their hearts, minds, and souls." He goes on to say that if we would truly live in a way that makes Christ Lord, our witness would become a compelling reality. Whether or not his second conclusion is true is another matter. He assumes that if we would live the gospel as Christ Jesus that people would flock to the church. This is the message of so many who tell us that if we would simply do evangelism the right way, preach the true gospel, follow the right model of church, we will be successful and fill our buildings.
We would like to accept this version of reality. It just does not stack up to the words, life, and teaching of Jesus, Paul, Amos, Elijah, Peter, and John the Baptist. We want to hear that there is a simple process or strategy we might use to find success ready at our fingertips. It is the outlook we expect from our background in the industrial revolution. It is what we have learned to believe from our exposure to gardening, mechanics, and an Enlightenment perspective on our world. If we follow the right procedure, we can enjoy the results we desire.
Process, procedure, and following the established guidelines is the pattern set before us. So why does it only very rarely work? Why are churches all over the nation closing their doors much faster than churches are growing or being planted? Many have said that trying something over and over again the same way while expecting different results is a clear sign of insanity. Yet we so often continue to beat dead horses and expect that some day they will move, simply because we have faithfully followed the traditions handed to us. Or have we?
More likely, we follow only part of the process and tradition. More commonly, we isolate one or two points in the ...
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