Dying for a change in the congregation
© Copyright 2010 Más de la Vida with Jorge Cota
A couple of years ago I spent a month in the Middle East and had the opportunity to visit various mosques. I don’t know if you have ever visited one but the mosques were not designed with me in mind. I have no idea what they do or say during worship. The reason? Mosques are designed for their members. Mosques are designed for Muslims and not for outsiders; like most Christian churches.
Most Christian churches are not designed with the outsider in mind. There are so many things we do in church that we forget about the person who is coming to church for the first time. We forget that the outside is very different from the inside. Think about the language and phrases we use in our churches. It seems that everything is in Chinese and not in Spanish! Ask someone from the outside if he has already “been washed by the blood of the lamb” and he will not have the slightest idea of what he is talking about or perhaps he thinks that it is served in a restaurant, worse still, maybe you even want to they make you throw up.
And then there are the songs that we sing. I grew up singing, “Lord, take me to your courts, to the holy place, to the bronze altar, Lord, I want to see your face. Pass the crowd, where the priest sings, I am hungry and thirsty for justice.” I bet someone on the outside doesn’t have the slightest idea what those stanzas mean.
We tend to forget how strange our church culture is to outsiders and as a result when the outsider first comes to our church they run into all these barriers and lose the only opportunity that he or she might have to connect. With God.
If we are going to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, it is going to require us to step out of our comfort zone and our Christian bubble and begin to engage with the outsider and make the church more attractive to them. Otherwise the church will continue to be a social club.