“Why do we make being a Christian sound like the worst thing ever?”
A legitimate question. It was posed to me the other day by someone who had been on Twitter and was reading through the titles of several Christian blog posts. Most had something to do with the fact that Christianity will make you uncomfortable, will cost you everything, isn’t about you, etc.
“It’d be nice” she said, “To read a blog post that talks about how great being a Christian and knowing God’s love actually is.”
She’s right. I think it would be nice to read that. So why are so many blog posts tilted the other direction? And, as parents and ministers, what kind of messages are we sending to the next generation about what it means to be a Christian?
Well, let’s start with the first. Why are so many Christians calling out the church and other Christians on so many things in their blog posts? And, look, I’m putting myself there too. I’ve published more that one post directed at the church in a way that challenges what is being done.
I think it’s partly because it’s easier to point out a wrong that it is to affirm a right.
I mean, who is going to read a blog post that says, “Keep it up!” or “Just a reminder: God still loves you” as opposed to “Stop acting like a Christian and be one!” and “Worship isn’t about you: Stop making it!” Both could be accurate…but which one will you read?
Also, I think it’s human nature to point out the wrong in someone else. In the oft-quoted (and oft-misquoted) Scripture passage that starts with”Do not judge…” Jesus meets this tendency head on with his own challenge,”Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?” (Mt 7:3)
And even if what is being shared is spot-on, not judgement but true concern and heartfelt conviction, I think it’s worth considering the next question.
What is the Christianity we are representing to our children and to the world around us?
You guys!! Let’s review quickly the foundation of our faith
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
God LOVED us SO MUCH, He gave of Himself, wholly and completely, so that we can have eternal, abundant, overflowing LIFE forever!!
That’s the center. That’s the creamy goodness inside the chocolate shell. That’s the best part!
Yes, being a Christian can at times mean being uncomfortable. It can mean that we choose to lay aside our selfish desires and seek the good of others. It can mean that we don’t get what we want sometimes.
But that is not what being a Christian is.
Being a Christian is experiencing the wonder and awe of knowing that we are loved by God himself with such an overwhelming, all-encompassing love that He gave up everything for us and because of that we get to walk in freedom, in love, in abundant life, every single day, not just while we are here on earth, but for all eternity!!
Yes, I’m excited about that! Because friends, our world is hurting and hopeless. My kids hear sad things all the time on the news and in the headlines and from their friends. And we?
We have been given the gift, the absolute best present ever, of abundant life. Of hope and light and freedom!
I want that truth to echo in their hearts so loudly and so clearly that when things get uncomfortable, when they are called to love others more than self, when they don’t get what they want, those things are minuscule compared to the overwhelming sense of promise and hope they find in Christ and the love, life, and relationship they find in His body, the church.
Being a Christian is an exciting adventure, a chance to participate in the greatest story every to unfold, to be a part of God’s eternal plan. It’s not a headline that grabs attention or gets people to read the blog posts. But it is the good news we were sent to proclaim!
Before we sought Him, He sought us. He never leaves us. Never forsakes us. He meets our deepest needs. He calms our deepest fears. He’s an ever present help in time of need. We are never on our own again. We are never without hope. Never without an advocate, a friend, an ally, or hope.
We have all this and more because we have Jesus!
And that is what our churches, our children and this world need to hear, over and over again, proclaimed through our words, our worship, our actions and our lives.
Please hear me, I fully understand the need for us as Christians to be challenged in our faith, to not grow complacent and to keep growing.
But I think it is equally important, maybe even more important, that we continually affirm the good, reiterate the truth of God’s love, and proclaim to one another, to the world, and to our children just how incredibly blessed we are to be part of the family of God!
So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25The Message (MSG)
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 this Blog
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. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family and Seedbed