by Sherry Chamblee
Lately God’s been highlighting a couple things for me. I’ve seen articles written wondering why young people are leaving church, and why we don’t seem to be affecting our culture much lately.
A few weeks ago we were talking in church about the New Testament Christians, and what we think of when we think of “Christianity.” Most of us in the room responded from where we were before salvation, and at that point, they thought of Christianity as a set of rules, standards, the church service, even outreach ministries can be seen as “Christianity.”
It struck me then – the very first generation of Christians knew nothing of what we today term “Christianity.” There were no programs. None. There were no fancy church services, or debates over whether to use a screen up front, or what sort of instruments to have on the stage, or what people ought to wear, or even how to reach our community in the most effective manner. There was no curriculum teaching people how to go soul winning – no studies showing how to reach different demographics – no research into what the community wanted in church. None of that was “Christianity” to them.
They were literally only following Jesus Christ. None of the rest of it existed, and they came to HIM, and Him alone, in droves.
If they weren’t an eyewitness themselves of Jesus Christ, then they came because of the personal witness of those telling the stories. They connected with the men and women talking about Jesus. They saw people they trusted whose lives had been radically changed, and they were drawn to that.
So how does that impact me today, 2,000+ years later?
I’ve started seeing Christianity as the trappings, and I need to get back to seeing it only as Jesus Christ. My relationship with Jesus is what my Christianity ought to look like to other people.
They shouldn’t see the programs my church runs, or the dynamic singing, or the standards and rules. They should see Christ and Christ alone.
This doesn’t mean programs and singing aren’t important, and it certainly doesn’t mean we abandon the standards or God’s rules for how He wants His children to act. What it does mean is that those should be overshadowed at first by my relationship with Christ.
Is He alive, or isn’t He?
Is He real to me, or isn’t He?
Do I have an actual relationship with Him, or don’t I?
That’s what people should see.
About the Author:
Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.
Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/