I may have came across a little pessimistic and maybe a little upset in the first post. I am not, and I apologize if it came across that way. The point of the post was to just pose the question, should we be using Jesus and the Christian life as marketable items. There are many studies that have come out recently, that try to teach people how to share their faith with others, and in my opinion the strategy and training seems kind of like that of a car salesman. Then there are those books out there that aim to teach pastors how to market their churches. I believe that people have good intentions with these materials, but again are we trying to run the church as a business or a community?
I understand that we should try to place our church on the map, and make people aware of our community. I also understand that people have difficulty when it comes to sharing their faith. Let me address the first issue at this time and then I will get to the second. I feel as though that the best way of putting our church on the map is as follows:
-By the members of our church getting out in the community, and being the salt and light that Jesus talks about.
-Members need to be allowed the time to begin to build relationships with people outside our the four walls of our church, and sometimes that is difficult if they are serving at the church most of the week.
-When the relationships begin to build, members are then able to invite those whom they have gotten to know to the church.
I think sometimes we get it backwards. We expect those outside of our church to, first come to the church and then we will accept them. This may work at times, but overall it is not a very affective strategy. We need to get out there where the lost are, and meet them on their turf. We need to stop making it all about our churches, and start making our goal that of furthering the kingdom of God.
In respects to sharing one's faith, I feel that we are simply making it more difficult than it has to be. I mean if I won the lottery, and by winning this money it has changed my life drastically, I would not have to be motivated to share it with others. So, if someone has truly accepted this free gift of grace that God offers, and they understand what all of this means, I just can't believe that it would be difficult to share it with others. I mean, we have the key to living a fulfilling life and the key to changing our world, why would we want to keep that to ourselves.
In conclusion, we must stop approaching how we do church and how we live out our Christian lives in such a systematic manner. We must simply start living out our faith in our everyday lives. Before we can share Christ and what he has done for us through words, we must start living it out in how we live our lives. We must do as Jesus taught, 'Love God and Love People', period. We have to start first preaching it from the pulpit, then encourage the people in the congregation to start living it out. It is at this time we will not only changes in the church, but even more importantly, changes in our communities.