How Does the World See Us?

I haven’t finished  Brandon Hatmaker’s  book, Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture, but as soon as I do I will write a review. In the meantime here is another challenging quote that forces us to think about what it means to be church.

Guell Park, Barcelona

Guell Park, Barcelona

“Faith can be confusing enough without adding to the mix. Sorting through an unexpected death, processing a tragic natural disaster, or observing evil in the world are things that have shaken individuals’ faith for centuries. People outside the church don’t see hope in a building or a program. They don’t value them like we do because they don’t connect them with a nostalgic faith moment like we do. Culture has shifted. Things have changed. The church is on the fringe of our society, and we need to find new ways to undo the damage to our reputation. We have to change the way we are seen by the world. We have to become good news again.”

Hatmaker, Brandon (2011-11-01). Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture (Exponential Series).  Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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Categories: christian, Christianity, Church, Faith | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “How Does the World See Us?

  1. nbiser

    The question is……how do we make a better impact on the world? We most certainly won’t do it by catering to what the world wants. Don’t you think? We need to be aggressive Christians: proclaiming the gospel to those who are unsaved: even to those who claim to be saved but aren’t really on the straight and narrow way. We should also start taking back the various fields that the unbelievers dominate in. This doesn’t mean that we will become popular….it may even bring persecution: but we should suffer all things for the sake of Christ. In fact, in my opinion, if Christians would stop truckling to the world and would start standing up for what they believe we will start gaining victories over the World, the flesh, and the Devil……and they will start persecuting us as a result. However, as some have said, ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church’

    • kip

      Yep. That conservative way of thinking will shrink the church even more. Good luck with that, nbiser.

      • nbiser

        I think that you should change your last sentence to…..”Good luck with that, God.”

        There is a bounty of scriptural evidence for my position: “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” Ephesians 6:6

        This passage states that we shouldn’t try to please man, but rather God. We should worship in God’s way and we should follow the commands of Christ in Mathew 28, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” He does not say that we should teach whatever will bring men into the church, rather, whatever God has commanded us.

  2. Thank you for the comments. I agree the church needs to be assertive. We have been far too mealy mouthed. As far as the world is concerned (in Western countries) it has lost it’s reason for being. In all that we do we must be Christ like- tough on ourselves ( eg as he was with the Parisees) and gracious to the lost (woman at the well). Too often we do the reverse of ths. I also agree that suffering is a mark of Christianity. And maybe, Kip, a shrinking church with committed people would be more effective than a large church with aimless hangers on.

  3. I’m dealing with a church right now which is seeking to “be relevant” again. Even 50 years ago, this church was teeming with people. Today, the building which easily seats 500 barely musters 20 on Sunday morning. The pastor’s solution is to mimic a large church in another part of the city, as if another church has the answer rather than seeking the Head of the Church.

    To me, it’s quite frustrating. We’ve lost a Biblical sense of ecclesiology and the purpose for the local church. However, I assume that if a local church knew the calling of the Master, embraced it’s place in the body – whether more or less honorable, and elevated the Truth and His truth, that congregation would be relevant.

    Hmmm, just thought of something. Maybe we’re searching more for relevance to the unsaved than we are to be relevant to the One whom the Church belongs. Wouldn’t that be idolatry?

    • Ah, Richard, you are climbing into the debate we need to be having. We left a large church a few years ago because the enterprise was more important than the people. Everywhere we have looked, big or small, the culture or traditions of the denomination seem more important than the mission of the church to be God’s kingdom heralders.

  4. Sounds like a helpful book – great title. It changes you in a good way when you rub shoulders and work with some of the least and the lost. I thank God for the privilege to work with people that struggle to make it. I’m enriched because of it, although it breaks my heart to see their needs.

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