Revolutionizing the Church

On January 20, 1961 President John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of The United States. There are a few things to note: 1. He was the youngest elected president at 43 years old. (Theodore Roosevelt was younger at 42, but he became President at the death of Pres. McKinley. 2. He was the first President not to wear a hat (top hat or fedora) at the inauguration thus ending the men’s fashion of wearing fedoras. (I am still struggling to forgive him for that.) 3. Some consider his Inaugural Address to be one of the most inspiring of the last half of the 20th Century.

It is his speech, particularly this one often quoted line that I think needs to be heard again and again in our nation today, “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”  Can you imagine a nation full of people who work to better the nation instead of wanting government to better their lives?

I want to borrow from President Kennedy. I am stealing his sentence and changing a few words:

“And so, my fellow Christians, ask not what the church can do for you-ask what you can do for the church.”

How can I help revolutionize the church? What can I do for the Lord’s Church?

Pray for her. Pray for the local congregation. Pray for her leaders. Pray for the church around the world. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16b)

Be involved. Be involved in what you can and what you enjoy. You do not have to do everything (even you preacher). But find a ministry or program that you are passionate about and jump in.

Be inclusive. Welcome new people to your conversation circles, your ministry groups, or your small group. To say this another way, be friendly and welcoming.

Be authentic. We need to let people know our struggles and lean on each other for support instead of being afraid to ask for prayers out of fear of looking weak. I appreciate the tender hearts of those who come asking for prayers for things going on in their lives. Recently, a brother in Christ responded to the invitation to ask for strength as he chooses to retire. Another brother recently ask the church to pray for his daughter who is not a Christian. In both cases the emotions were authentic and raw. Read James 5:13-16 and think how we can be better at sharing our struggles.

Serve where you are. The work of the church is more than what goes on at the building. The work of the church is more than Bible classes, worship assemblies, devotionals, or college, youth, and children’s activities. The work of the church is where you are when you are there. Be observant. There is someone in your class, in your homeschool co-op, at the office, at the gym, or at work that needs serving. They may need talk to someone who will simply listen. They may need help with a child, aging parent, or other issues. They may be hungry. They may not think anyone cares. Show them that you do. Show them that Christ does. They just might be looking for Christ and don’t yet know it.

Be a Christian. I keep hearing people describing Jewish culture and Islamic culture saying that Judaism and Islam are an ideology that impacts their everyday life as a way to explain the radicalism of those groups. My fellow Christians, the Way of Christ is supposed to impact our daily lives.  Jesus tells us to take up our cross (die to self) daily if we follow Him (Luke 9:23-26). I take that to mean that Christ’s teachings are my day in day out ideology that impacts my every decision from what I wear, to what I do, and where I go. Maybe that is radical to some, but that is who we are supposed to be.

Can you imagine a church full of people who are dying to self everyday and working to grow the church in spiritual and physical ways? So again, I borrow from President Kennedy. I am stealing his sentence and changing a few words:

“And so, my fellow Christians, ask not what the church can do for you-ask what you can do for the church.”

– Scott

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