Innovative Ministry
The World Needs a Better Ironing Board (Yes, This Is About the Church)
We need to introduce people to Jesus. And we need to get rid of anything that makes that task harder than it ought to be.

Making Jesus More Accessible

In case anyone thinks this is about putting every pastor in skinny jeans and V-neck t-shirts, I want to be very clear. This is not about being trendy.

Yes, uber-cool hipster church, this post is for you, too.

This isn’t about being relevant – although relevant is always better than stale – it's about being genuine. And accessible. The cool, insider lingo of some new churches is as indecipherable to seekers as the arcane traditions of others.

The cool, insider lingo of some new churches is as indecipherable to seekers as the arcane traditions of others.

We need to introduce people to Jesus. And we need to get rid of anything that makes that task harder than it ought to be.

It’s that simple.

Why do we make it so hard?

How Jesus Made Faith Accessible

One of the many characteristics that attracted irreligious people to Jesus was his accessibility. He went where they were, talked in language they understood and made deep truths simple without watering them down.

That's why, after he told them a simple story about the difference between building a house on a foundation of sand or a rock, "the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law." (Matthew 7:28-29)

In today's language, they might have said something like this: "Wow! When Jesus speaks, I understand him and he makes me want to change my life. Not like my pastor!"

Because the Message Matters

This isn't easy. The longer we've been in the church, the harder it can be to see where we're hiding the latch from others and groaning to open up to them.

Like someone who's familiar with how their rickety old ironing board works, my church still works for me, so why change it?

We need to change the method so the message can get through to people who've never experienced it before.

The good news of Jesus is too important to keep hidden behind a structure that only works for people who know how to crack the code.

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The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

September 23, 2016 at 10:06 AM

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