Perception is reality. I say it a lot in my public relations work, but it applies to a lot of other things too. It definitely applies to church.
• Out of touch
We’ve all heard the negative comments about Christians. Whether they are fair or not, the perception was earned by someone along the way. Those labels don’t apply to most of us, but we have to be more careful about who speaks on our behalf. If you are tired of being known for what you are against, start telling people what you are for. That sounds easy, right?
What are you for?
I had a pastor when I was a teenager who liked to push our buttons. He once commented that most church people were so narrow-minded that we could look at the world through a keyhole with both eyes. When we limit what we see, we limit how we are seen. We also limit God with our keyhole.
I had an interesting conversation about this a couple of nights ago. My brother-in-law told me about his mission trip to Africa last year. We both grew up in the Bible belt and went to church our whole lives. That’s just what you do. He said it took a mission trip to the other side of the world to show him what church should be like – a vibrant, caring, praying, supportive body.
Many of us have let church become a routine. You dress nice, sit still, sing songs, pass the plate and go to lunch. You get baptized when people say you should. Where’s the passion, the fire, the faith? Church should be a verb.
There is a cultural war going on. There always has been. Spiritual warfare is real but don’t make the mistake of casting stones. The biggest enemy of church today is not “the media” or Hollywood, or government. Church is committing suicide because it wants to be a victim.