Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Tell The Story Of Christmas

December 22, 2015

Can there be anyone in the world who does not know that Friday is Christmas?

It is impossible to live in the US and not know about Christmas–at least as a holiday. The name is everywhere.

Many people will have the day off work.  Many have been buying presents. Even people who do not celebrate Christmas or know about the reason for the celebration buy presents for celebrations.

Unlike Easter which always occurs on a Sunday, Christmas can be any day of the week. But still churches are filled during December. Maybe not so much in January, but the last Sunday before Christmas and Christmas Eve services will draw more people than any other time excepting Easter.

Even more than presents and church attendance, the holiday means family gatherings. These dinners are as often fraught with tension and disappointment as they are joyous. Often the tension between hype and reality takes the luster off the day.

Let’s look at just the “Christian” perspective.

Is this just a celebration for the “in” people? We gather the members, sing songs, pat each other on the back, congratulate the pastor on drawing a big attendance.

What if…what if the followers of Jesus took advantage of all this marvelous (and free) advertising. We don’t have to be apologetic. Or in your face. We don’t have to say “merry Christmas” as if it were a challenge.

But so many people are hearing about Christmas who have no idea what the meaning is. They only know rumors and bad information about who that man Jesus was. Some may only have a vague idea that this is a birthday party for a man who changed the world and billions of individual people.

What if we saw this season as a great opportunity to start conversations with people outside the church. Let’s turn it all inside out. Instead of inbred celebration, let’s reach out to others.

Marketers spend tons of money and lots of energy to create this sort of messaging. I consult with companies to help them achieve just a part of this sort of marketing. Companies use this marketing to start conversations with prospects.

What if we used all this awareness throughout the culture to introduce people to a man who was God who can help them through so many life challenges? Not by shouting at people but by conversing with them.

Give Them Grace

August 25, 2015

Aunt Bethany keeps asking “Where’s Grace” as a recurring line in Christmas Vacation. To which Uncle Lewis keeps replying, “Grace is not here.”

Sometimes our churches are like that. You observe members and listen to conversations and you wonder, “Where’s Grace?”

My wife and I were discussing Andy Stanley’s current series in his “Your Move” videocasts. It is entitled “Christian” and discusses how that word is not defined in the Bible, so you can make it mean whatever you want it to. He points to the word Jesus actually used for his followers–disciple. That is a word with well known meaning.

He tackles straight on the opinion of most outside the church, and even many within, about “Christians.” Quarrelsome, disputatious, judgemental, homophobic–and sure that they are the only ones going to heaven and you are going to hell secretly happy that you are going to hell.

Where is grace in all that?

I was recently talking with some leaders who in turn have a leader who is a non-leader. They handle it with grace. Better than I would, for sure. But I’m learning.

They say he has too much grace to make a decision. I see that as more of a failure of maturity as a leader. But they give him grace. And life goes on.

That is challenging to most of us–giving grace. 

We all have daily dealings with people who seem to require extra grace. They probably don’t even know it. But, it is better to suck it up and give grace than live with the results of not living in grace.

Quarrelsome, judgemental, disputatious, mean, bitter.