People are searching for peace, for a place to belong. People are searching for hope.
As a body of believers we want our church to be the place the lost find what they're searching for. We know that Christ can fill the deep, empty places of their soul. We know that it's only in Him that we find the answers our souls long for, but for some reason we don't always do a good job at reaching the broken and hurting. We don't provide a place where they can find what they're looking for. There are so many reasons why this might be the case, but it appears that the main reasons for this in today's culture are a lack of authenticity and fear of being too different.
We are so afraid of being vulnerable that we create this perception that the church is simply a group of people who pretend to have it all together, that we have it all figured out and know how to do life the right way. The problem with that is, not only is it a lie, but everyone on the outside is able to see through this facade of perfection. What they see in it's place is unappealing and not a true picture of Jesus.
Our society will no longer stand for that. The rising generation is crying out for authenticity. They're demanding that we be real and passionate about our Jesus. This generation values transparency in a significant way and can easily see right through people who aren't being authentic. They won't put up with it, and they'll begin searching in other places for the truth and hope that they're longing for.
I'm calling on our church to change our approach. We must turn away from striving for perfect, and from an unwillingness to show each other our flaws. In order to reach this generation we have to be raw, vulnerable and willing to share the deep, hard stuff in our hearts.
Only when we begin to be truly real, open and honest about who we are will we begin to attract the hurting. We know Jesus is the answer to the ache in their hearts, but first, we have to be willing to share the transformation he has done in our own lives.
As believers we must be bold in our faith. No more sugar coating Jesus, telling people what we think they want to hear. Let's bravely share His Truth.
Our world doesn't need a band-aid for the heartache. We need the absolute truth of God boldly proclaimed and spoken into our lives.
Church, don't be timid. Stop being afraid of what people will think when you share the yucky parts of your lives. Don't be afraid that people will be offended by our Jesus. If we believe that God is who He says He is, if we believe that scripture is true, then we must speak it boldly. We must live as if it were true.
I'm praying for you, for myself and for our entire church. I'm praying that we would stop living passively and instead speak boldly. That our hearts would grieve for the lost and become passionate about sharing who Jesus really is.
from This Significant Life
Stephanie Brown is one of Central UMC’s guest bloggers. As an active twenty-something member of Central UMC, Stephanie’s articles on faith are relevant and timely to her generation. Why do we care? We care because this voice represents the future of Central. You can often find Stephanie engaged in worship through various bible study classes, serving as an usher, or even emceeing at a Central Women’s Ministry event. She is a loving wife, soon to be adoptive parent, events coordinator, daughter, sister, and passionate follower of Jesus Christ. To read more of Stephanie’s posts see her personal blog at thissignificantlife.com.