Growing up my mom would tell me to “be careful about the company you keep because you’ll become known by their actions”. Â Like most adolescents I rolled my eyes and hung out with whomever I wanted. I found out the hard way that she was right.
We truly do become known by those we associate with.
What do we do when the people giving us a bad name are The Church? Â Many have disassociated with The Church and I’ve got to be honest, I don’t blame them at all. Â I’ve thought about walking away many times. Â Not from God but from organization of The Church. Â I wanted to make up a new name for Christ followers so no one would know that I was associated with the same people who started the crusades or judged them when they were growing up. Â I struggled with this for years.
Truly disliking the organization of The Church and Â understanding it as the Bride (John 3:29) I found difficult to reconcile. Â I decided that rather than shake my fist outside the doors of The Church, I would work to become a part of the solution and reintroduce The Church to culture.
Here are some people who’ve taken the lead and that I’ve learned from:
Donald Miller recalled in Blue Like Jazz how he and some friends set up a confessional for a local college, not for the students to confess their sins to a priest, but to confess to the students the sins of The Church throughout history.
Derek Webb uses his music to inspire The Church to become The Bride we were intended to be. Â He challenges us to look past our comfort and recognize the purpose of The Church.
Read past posts about Derek Webb HERE.
Shane Claiborne recently took a huge step in this reintroduction process in an article he wrote for Esquire Magazine. Â I could tell you all about it but I really think you need to read it for yourself. Click HERE to give it a look.
We will be known by those we associate with.
What are you doing to reintroduce The Church to your culture?
Check out the podcastÂ HERE.
(WARNING: this podcast contains sensitive topics and some explicit language)
Two weeks ago thElement was invited to “The Brown Bag Challenge”
The general idea is to use a brown lunch bag to meet a need of someone else.
Check out the video for more datails about the challenge HERE
On Monday I walked into my office to find a brown bag with my name on it. Â I opened it to find notes of encouragement written by thElement middle school students and leaders to me and my wife Ashley.
We felt incredible blessed! Â Thanks to everyone who contributed to our brown bag.
Below are pictures of just a few of the notes we received.
Whose need will you meet today?
Sometimes we forget that students have a life outside of youth group. Even between midweek services, small groups, and Sunday mornings, we only get to spend a few hours a week with them.
The following is a real Facebook conversation between a student and their youth pastor. It’s a reminder of the reality many students are living. That there is more happening beneth the surface than meets the eye.
*This is a real conversation and is NOT edited and contains some foul language.
STUDENT- bro you dont know me. But I definately remember you coming to my school and speaking about god nd all that and just thought you should know I definately really connected wit a lot of the s@*t you said nd has definately been a big part of my journey to finding god at all which has helped me through a loottt of tough sh**. im definately thankful that you do what u do bro. just thought you should know. peace.
PASTOR- Dude, thanks so much for sharing that. I’m super stoked that it connected with ya. Seems like there is some rough stuff going down in your life. Please let me know if ya ever need anyone to talk to. I’m always up for grabbing dinner, coffee or just chillin. my cell number is ***-***-**** if ya ever need it.
STUDENT- yeah well if i see u round one day i definately say wats up. but like my dad died when i was 14 and my mom kicked me out when i was 16 nd i inherited $100,000 when i was 18 and it was gone 2 months later cuz ive been on drugs since i was 14 and i got kicked outta school 4 months before graduation cuz apparently i was too much of a liability. but i dunno sh**s been better. thanks bro. keep preachin what ur preachin.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I need a reminder about the reality facing the students we’re trying to reach.
Check out the video below to learn how you can be apart of the challenge.
Tell your story at Being Human Project
As always I had a great time hanging out with the Irreverent Podcast crew. Â They called me in to talk through the Health and Wealth Gospel and its affects on The Church today. I had a lot to say! Â Check out the podcast by clicking the Irreverent Logo below and leave some feedback.
Irreverent Podcast “about us” taken from their site:
When it comes to Christianity there is a lot that needs to be talked aboutâ€¦.
And it feels like like most churches these days are avoiding these discussions.
The Irreverent Podcast is a Christian Podcast that thinks no subject is taboo. We discuss everything from movements happening in the community, to questions sent in like â€œIs masturbation a sin?â€, and everything in between.
We are able to do this since we are independent from any church label or stigma, we donâ€™t have to worry if someone disagrees with us, we seem to actually encourage that. Itâ€™s ok for Christians to disagree, itâ€™s ok to argue, as long as itâ€™s done out of love.
Thatâ€™s what we do, we discuss, we acknowledge, and we love.
We are The Irreverent Podcast,
We are Your Irreverent Podcast,
We are Christianity Unfiltered.
Past posts about Irreverent Podcast HERE