============================================================ Fundamentally Right: Techno-Fluff and Ice Cream

Monday, March 21, 2005

Techno-Fluff and Ice Cream

In these days of the megachurch, the “purpose driven whatever” and the thumping of a multimedia experience, do you ever wonder what’s next?

I used to think of myself as a fairly hip old coot, but boys, I’m losing ground fast.

The Church in America has cycled through many stages and phases to get where it is today. The goal of the Church is the fulfillment of the Great Commission, to share the Good News with the lost and to disciple believers. That sounds simple on its face, but it’s not….

From the New International Version;

Matthew 28: 18-20

“18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."”

Then again, perhaps we have overcomplicated a simple message. What does it take to fill a church in America today? At one time, all that was needed was prayer, Holy Spirit empowered preaching of the Word of God and fellowship with the church family.

Armed with the truth, all that the disciples needed was provided them on the Day of Pentecost, all the power, the boldness and gifts of the Spirit.

Acts 1:8
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Do we need more?

What has brought us to the place that we believe it takes more than Holy Spirit power, prayer, God’s Word and fellowship? People are looking for the truth and they’re looking for people to care about them. The world can provide everything else.

During the late 70’s and early 80’s, I was doing one of several stints as a Sunday School superintendent. It was in the days of attendance building contests and stunts. Someone shared a few words of wisdom with me; I never forgot those words. “ If you win them with ice cream, you’ll have to keep them with ice cream.”

At what point do we stop pumping up the volume? How much “techno-fluff” will it take until there’s no real discernable difference between many of the American churches and the street?

Do we dare abandon the slick entertainment and hype?

The underground church in China is growing at a phenomenal rate despite aggressive persecution by the state. People are not being won to Christ with ice cream in China. The “Christian Book of the Month Club” offers the same book every month in China; it’s the Bible, for those blessed enough to possess it. Yet, the Church grows at its most basic level, the house church. The people are learning discipleship and near complete dependence upon the Lord.

Perhaps the comfort and excess levels we find in many American Churches are hindering us. It may be time to act less like the world and return to the basics.

What else might we do with all that excess time, money and energy if we returned to the fundamentals?

Please take the time to read this incredible story that was posted on the ASSIST News Service Saturday March 19th.

The article was written by Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries.


Are we squandering the Lords blessings and abusing His grace?

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