When fear defines a culture, we spend more time hiding than we do shining, more time defending ourselves instead of defending the poor, more time taking a stand on things that don’t matter than standing on the One thing that does.
When fear defines a culture, outrage is easier than affirmation, reaction takes precedence over response, and annoyance is more prevalent than love.
When fear defines a culture, we spend more time telling the world what we are not instead of what we are.
When fear defines a culture, our children think these things are the important things; that these things deserve our energy, our attention, and our outspoken cries of “Not me!”
When fear defines a culture, we are more worried about what someone thinks about us because of what someone else said about us than we are confident in who are we are as a people because of what God says about us.
But when perfect love, that casts out fear, defines a culture…
The poor are championed.
The lost are found.
We are known by who we are instead of what we are not.
Our actions speak louder than our words or Facebook statuses and more time is spent responding in love to the world we touch not the one made public by a social media conglomerate. We don’t need to write blogs about how silly or stupid or ridiculous or ignorant other people are; we write blogs about how incredible and perfect and wonderful the truth of God’s word and love of our Father is.
We don’t need to defend ourselves but like our Savior, we allow our defense to be our very lives. We don’t need to point out every wrong because we live a life that is a reflection of what is right.
And they will know we are the church…by our love.
I want my kids growing up with a faith that is built not on telling the world what we don’t believe, what we don’t do, and what we don’t think.
I want their questions about what I believe to be about Jesus and the Bible and grace and love not coffee and campaigns.
I want them to have a faith that is lived by showing what we believe, living what we do, and being what we think.
And I want to save my energy not for outrage but for encouragement, for ministry, and for life-giving gospel work.
Because fear…worry…frustration…none of those things bring life.
But hope….grace…love…all of these things do.
Oh, that we could be as excited about who and what we are as a church as we are about what we are not. Oh, that our souls would be stirred because of things that matter, not thing that don’t. Oh, that our energy and action would be spent on things that shine light, not reflect darkness.
We control the conversation. We have the ability to do just that. We have the Truth and Light and Love to share. It’s as easy as a click and share and as simple as a life lived being the church.
But it’s hard to do when outrage is vogue and frustration is fashionable. It’s hard to do when fear of being misunderstood, miscommunicated, or mistaken is trending.
It’s hard to do when fear controls the culture.
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
About the author
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com