Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary... on Tuesday

The past few Sundays have been a little different for us at the Suncoast.  For one, we are in our own space, and are no longer meeting in a Middle School Cafeteria.  And two, since the space we are meeting in is not finished, our services have been a little less media driven (no videos, power point, etc.), and the messages have been a little more like a conversation.  Brian has been doing some vision casting for the future of the Suncoast, as we approach this new season in our church life.

Here are a few things that stood out to me:

1.  Only 17% of Americans attend church on a regular basis.  40% of Americans still see the church as a relevant environment when seeking spiritual growth, looking for help in times of crisis, and in their pursuit of self-improvement, etc..  60% no longer see the church as a relevant option, period.  What does that mean for us as a church?  Well, we have to continue to do our services with excellence for the 40%, with the idea of "come and see," and be the church the rest of the week for the 60% with the idea of "go and be."

2.  Five statements we need to embrace as a church to avoid making Sundays the finish line, and instead, keep it the starting line.

Found people, find people.
Who are you "finding?"  Who are you sharing your faith with?  Once you encounter Jesus, you should want to share him with everyone you know! 
(Matthew 9:9-13)

Saved people, serve people.
People should know we are Christians by our love for one another.  Do people see you this way?  Who are you serving? 
(John 13:35, Matthew 20:28)

Changed people, change.
Christianity is an event, followed by a process.  Our goal is to be more like Jesus.  Are you more or less like Jesus this year than you were last year?  Why or why not? 
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Blessed people, bless.
You cannot out-give God.  Are you blessing others?  Who?  Have you ever given sacrificially, and watched God come through on your behalf?  
(2 Corinthians 9:6-15)  

Those who get grace, give grace.
We have not done anything to earn grace, nor should others have to earn it from us.  
(2 Timothy 1:9)  

I hope you take the time to ponder those questions and look up those verses.  It was a pretty challenging message (for me), considering the fact that 60% of the people we come in contact with will never set foot in a church, and their only exposure to Christianity could be the interaction they have with us Monday-Saturday.  I know I don't always do a very good job of representing my Savior... my prayer is for people to see less of me, and more of Him in me.

See you on Sunday!

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