Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Gospel

A few nights ago I had a meeting with the other leaders of the Young Adult group at my church. This is kind of a rant, but not. It's more saying the things I wanted to the other night, but never had the chance. Anyway... So far things have been going pretty positively, but we have lacked a certain level of direction to the group which has resulted in us mostly just floating along. We were spending just as much time figuring out what worked vs. what doesn't. Who have been worth wile speakers and those who weren't. One thing that one of the leaders kept bringing up was getting the speakers to give a gospel message. Since I picked the speakers I never exactly pushed the point for a few reasons. For one, when I hear someone ask for a gospel message immediately what comes to mind are the alter calls of almost ever charismatic service I have ever attended. And have you ever noticed that the people who usually go up for the alter calls are the people who usually need it the least? Thankfully, this isn't what he meant. Second, what does that mean? What is a gospel message? I think whether he wants to or not the idea of having a gospel message will mean it turning into, "If you want to know Christ as your saviour....". Is that a gospel message? Let me tell you why I am struggling with this whole identity of Gospel. Simply put, I have heard many people give me just as many different ideas as to what the gospel means. The gospel is helping the poor. The gospel is leading others to Christ so they may get to heaven. The gospel is seeking social justice (whatever that means). Voting the right party. Going to the right church. Being reformed vs. dispensationalist. Being word of faith. Being charismatic. Being emergent. It goes on and on. They want the group to be evangelistic. Great, so do I as long as the people we have coming are growing in Christ and can adequately answer the big question I just laid out. I also believe that the group will become evangelistic naturally if we keep teaching them to go in this route and to properly seek Christ, etc. And can't just about any message that has the ethic of Christ, whether he's mentioned or not be a gospel message? At our last meeting I had someone come who works with a ministry that helps support schools in Ghana. Can't that be just as much a gospel message as any? And even if not, isn't that our job as members of the group to share to people who may not be too sure? Lastly, it is my hope that the group becomes unnecessary. I want to see young adults become such a force in the church again and to have a true multi-generational service that we are a part of each others lives. We won't need a group to make it happen, because we'll do it naturally. Sigh. Perhaps I am wrong.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:47 PM


Blogger Ken said...

Dave, here is a good starter to your understanding of The Gospel vs. Gospel presentation.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Mad Monk said...

Hey there:

I with you - I have trained my heart to see the Gospel at work in the most unlikely places in wonderful ways.

When I go to the theatre, I wonder how the Story is alive in the movie through the dialogue, visual arts, and the message of the director.

When I listen to music, I wonder where I am being challenged and soothed by the Spirit.

When I read, I wonder where God is at work in the author.

And in my friendships and family, I look for God's love and God's challenge through them.

I dunno. I guess I just don't need to say "Jesus" in order to see "Jesus."

7:05 AM  
Blogger Todd said...

Nice post, Jersey. Haven't chatted in awhile. Like you, I am trying to find my way out of the trappings of Churchianity and keep it real. If I ever figure it out, you'll be the first one I call. :)

3:42 PM  

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