While hanging out with my oldest daughter, we stopped at the neighborhood pizzeria to pick up pizza my wife had ordered. I have been to the same spot several times and never expected anything different. I walked in but not without observing the enormous uncontrolled smiles on the faces of customers going out with their pizza. I wondered if they got the pizzas for free. Anyways, when I got in, I was welcomed with rectitude and pleasantness I had never seen. The gentleman that attended to me walked around the counter and handed my box of pizza to me reverentially as against the old way of passing it to me over the counter. I turned to walk out and another gentleman opened the door for me and my daughter as he said nice words to my daughter and wished us a good night. I walked out smiling and knowing the reason the other customers left smiling. I began to wonder how many much people will leave this pizzerias smiling but might have left Sunday service or church meetings wounded or bitter, instead of challenged or happy.
The mandate to run the church as a welcoming and friendly place for old or new faces seeking Christ seems to have caved in to a system where many run the church as theirs, and have their hands in everything from running the finance to deciding who sits where and what everyone eats for dinner in their houses.
My mentality about ministry and how we present the gospel to non-Christians has been changed over the years. Chiefly, amongst reasons are how unconcerned we have become with the mistaken impression we have drawn in the minds of people of other faiths and those without faiths at all. The culture of “show off” that has since replaced humility and nobility in Christianity has not only done harm to how Christians approach work and finances but has also left many non-Christians I have encountered wondering why material gains and show of affluence, class and substance has become habitual means of inviting people to Jesus Christ.
Someone asked me saying “Why do Christians want to always do or say stuff to show how great they are instead of how great God is?” From entering the church like James Bond to perfecting illusions like Houdini we seem to care more about the glory of men than the souls of men. There is no need to employ method devoid of truth. Method is how we speak and deliver the truth about Jesus to the world. It is time we align our ‘methods’ with truth. Would you spend time telling the world about the word and help non-Christian discover the love of God as entrenched in the word or continue showing how much you have accomplished in the world with your words?
At no other time in the history of Christianity did love so characterize the entire church as it did in the early Church. The love they practiced drew the attention of the world, just as Jesus said it would. The reputation of the gospel depends on us and our method and media of showcasing Jesus Christ and has since assumed judging Christianity by what it sees in us and on television. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross has provided atonement for all our sins. His resurrection and love shown to all is what would draw people to Him. Romans 1:16 says the Gospel is literally “..the power of God to salvation.” Not gimmicks or stunts.
Let us discourage the misuse of power and instead use our actions not material possessions to bring people to God’s kingdom.