Sunday, May 8, 2011

Would You Recognize Jesus at Your Church?

During his first session at Advance 11, Alan Hirsch posed the question, "What would happen if Jesus showed up in some of our churches?" He presented this question in the context of Jesus being the one that sets the agenda, but we often look at it the other way as if we set the agenda.

We get off on all kind of agendas in our churches. This comes in many shapes and forms such as fundamentalism, liberalism, conservatism, etc. But the reality is that this is not the gospel or the agenda that Jesus came to spread.

To answer the question, I believe that for many of our churches a couple of reactions would happen if Jesus were to show up. First, some groups would be so blind to Jesus that they wouldn't recognize him at all. This would probably be the group that would tell him he isn't dressed right for a Sunday morning and is using the wrong version of the Bible. Second, some may recognize him and truly believe that he is on board fully with what they are doing only to learn that they have been pushing an agenda and not a move of God based on issues that do not really matter for eternity.

The reason for this is that Jesus was the true missionary. He came to us and became like us in every form, contextualizing so that He might reach us. The third group would recognize Jesus, be on board with what he says, but in reality only like talking about being contextual and missional in their community.

Hirsch ended his talk with the advice to go be friends with sinners and hangout with some hookers. Now, for some of you that may come across as a shocking statement or thought. But the reality is this is what we see Jesus doing, but not for the heck of being edgy or trendy, but in order to see lives changed.

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