I got an idea for a post when listening to a conversation that was, in essence, gossip. I have been thinking a lot about the church lately which sounds a little bit strange considering thinking about the church kind of goes with my job description. But, when I say thinking about the church I mean I have really been meditating, pondering, wrestling and struggling with the ideas of church. I am reading a book that has slapped me across the face when it comes to thinking about what other people think about the church. The book is The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons and his premise is that we just don’t listen to what people are saying about the church.
That has spun me in a thousand different directions as to why the church is not relevant in our current circumstance.
Gabe said, “Many churches are increasingly exhibiting less and less real influence in the communities where they’re located. If they were gone tomorrow, one can’t help wondering if anyone would notice.” (The Next Christians, p. 25).
Talk about a shot to the lower abdomen. I want to begin a series of posts with the framework of, “what do you think the perception is of the church is from the unchurched?” I was talking with a student in my office today and we discussed tomorrow’s See You At the Pole day. While there are a lot of redemptive things about this day I poignantly asked her, “What do you think people’s perception is when they walk by and ya’ll are huddled up praying around a pole?” She seemed to think that it would be negative, awkward and maybe even a little resistant.
So…I would like to offer a discourse on the seven deadly sins (Prov. 6:16-19) and use that as a framework for people’s perception of the church. Sound cool? After that I hope to give you a review of Lyons’ book.
See you tomorrow.