One of the unfortunate dilemmas in the Church today is the current trend in methodology on “how to” do church effectively. We gather our population spread sheets and combine them with secular surveys of what people are looking for, and then tailor our church buildings and services to meet those needs. Sadly, what usually happens in the process is that we begin to water down the message of Christ in order to “accomplish” that goal. Now it is very important to know where people are at, as well as being aware of the trends of society. Nobody was a better “reader” of the souls and needs of men than Jesus Himself (John 2:24-25). The difference lies in how Jesus dealt with sin and sinners and how we are doing it today.
We can never fulfill the great commission of God (Matthew 28:18-20) by worldly techniques. In some sections of the church we are being told by the “experts” that we have to copy to a T the current building concepts of the world in order to attract people into our sanctuaries. In other places we are being urged by these “experts” to rethink how we preach, and make sure that we redefine Biblical terminology in order that we do not “turn people off” to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Beloved, we need to be aware of the fact that by taking the bait of the world, we change the gospel from a life-changing message of repentance from sin (Acts 2:38) and salvation by grace alone, through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8) in Christ alone (Acts 4:10,12), into “the greatest show on earth”!
We are living in a time when the world has the Church eating out of its hand. How so? The world has sold us the lie that unless we are on the cutting edge of technology, or offer a sensational presentation of high powered “worship” with a side dish of a non-offensive sermonette, people will not come. We have gotten to a place where we want people to experience church, instead of to know and experience Jesus Christ Himself.
The Apostle Paul had a heart to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. So, what did Paul do? Did he use the wisdom of society? Did he listen to the “experts” of his day on how to reach people? No, Paul did what you and I are to do – exalt Christ (Galatians 6:14), and proclaim His eternal Word as it is written (Acts 20:27). In doing so, we give room for The Spirit of God to do His work in the hearts of men.
Beloved, we need to go back to the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16a) as found in Scripture. Those are the paths of passionate, Spirit-filled, Christ-centered, God-glorifying preaching, teaching, and worship. God forbid that we should substitute the methodology of the world for the power of God! (See 2 Timothy 4:1-5.)