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Words from Pastor Randy :: August 2017

Posted on July 24, 2017 by in

Cultural dynamics in the U.S. have been studied and communicated in terms of generations—The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, and the generations labeled X (Baby Busters), Y (Millennials) and Z. Some argue that culture is now changing so rapidly, that studying generationally will no longer be effective.

In the midst of so many changes, one thing is certain, MeadowBrook will continue to speak and minister the unchangeable truths of the Bible. However, how we communicate and how we minister among the culture must be fluid. The Apostle Paul understood this truth by the Holy Spirit. Read the following paraphrase from 1 Corinthians 9.

19b I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: 20 religious, nonreligious,  21 meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, 22 the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view.  I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. 23 I  did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! (1 Cor 9:19-23 MSG)

Paul was willing to walk with people of various persuasions—in their belief or unbelief—in order to lead them to God’s salvation in Jesus Christ. He did not expect them to come to him for truth; he understood that truth was to be lived before them and verbally shared with them.

Today, if churches believe that people who are unsaved and unchurched will simply show up when they are ready, they are sadly mistaken. The troubling reality is that more Americans are claiming no religious identity. When checking a survey box about religion, more people now check “none” than any other box. That number is rising rapidly among young people emerging into adulthood. Author James Emery White states that they “neither care to practice religion nor to oppose it. They are simply not invested in religion either way.”

Previously, the church in the U.S. was able to engage people with the gospel who had some measure of insight or at least nominal faith and understanding. That number has dwindled. The American church is struggling to find the relational bridge to engage the gospel with the largest generation in our history.

God’s kingdom grew rapidly in the first century. People communicated the gospel to those who had some insight to God and the Old Testament, and they also communicated to those who had no foundation of truth. Paul shared the gospel with religious people in synagogues, and he also shared with people, like those in Athens, who had no understanding of God. MeadowBrook must be diligent to do the same, connecting people to Christ and his church, regardless of their religious background, if any, and measure of faith and understanding.

A powerful duo for leading people to faith and salvation is purposefully living in Christ and purposeful conversations about Jesus Christ.

Take some time to review and practice the 3 Circles Gospel Presentation that can be found on our website.

Awaken each day with purposefulness to live the gospel openly to others around you. Recently, I inquired of a person who began attending MeadowBrook, “What brought you to MeadowBrook?” Her explanation was simple: a co-worker demonstrated a joy that she did not have, but longed to have. She inquired and heard about Jesus and MeadowBrook. She came seeking what her co-worker has.

Awaken each day with purposefulness to live the gospel openly to others around you. Recently, I inquired of a person who began attending MeadowBrook, “What brought you to MeadowBrook?” Her explanation was simple: a co-worker demonstrated a joy that she did not have, but longed to have. She inquired and heard about Jesus and MeadowBrook. She came seeking what her co-worker has.

People, regardless of their generation and culture, are not unreachable; we just need to be purposeful to reach out to them. Let’s build relationships, listen to people’s stories and share our own, share the gospel and make disciples. This is God’s purpose for us. In such ministry, we will find significance and joy.