It seems like there is a constant debate that exist regarding what is and isn’t acceptable in church and in the delivery of the Gospel. I’ve heard condemnation cast at contemporary music, moving lights, humor used in sermons, Bible translations, architectural style of church, etc..etc..
I’m not at all for introducing ‘new age’ thinking or anything else ‘new’ to the Gospel, but I think there is a very real case for continually presenting the Gospel in a fresh manner that relates to those who are listening.
In fact, this is how Jesus himself delivered the Gospel. He met people where they were and translated His message to His audience. He often used parables and stories so that it was understandable and was something that they could relate to easily. Jesus adapted His message for the shepherds, the prostitutes, the rich, the poor, the religious, and the irreligious.
Jesus was so passionate about His pursuit of ALL people that at times He would completely disregard cultural “rules”.
In one instance, Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well during the middle of the day. In the Jewish culture, Samaritans and Jews didn’t associate with one another. Samaritans were considered 2nd class and below the Jews.
None of this mattered to Jesus however. Jesus’ interest in the woman was so surprising that she actually took the time to point out their cultural differences, just in case Jesus wasn’t aware.
“The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” John 4:9
The conversation continued as Jesus explained that worship isn’t about location or method; it’s only about Him. He explains what true worship looks like and reveals to her that He is the Messiah. (John 4:21-26)
The scripture states that disciples were “shocked” to find Jesus speaking to her (John 4:27).
This is because the disciples were raised with in a world filled with rules and regulations, but that is not what Jesus is about. Jesus is about people. He is about you, me, and everyone else that walks this earth.
The Bible gives simple instructions when it comes to sharing the Gospel – GO & MAKE DISCIPLES (Matthew 8:28). It doesn’t give an instruction manual. It doesn’t give a 5-step program. It doesn’t say what kind of music to play or what kind of Bible translation to use. There is no list of do’s and don’ts. It simply tells us to share the Gospel and make disciples.
I don’t think it is a bad thing for churches to be different. I think our churches have to be different to be able to reach everyone in a way that is relevant.
For the Church to be most effective, it takes individual communities living out their God-given passions with a united purpose of reaching others with the love of Christ. Depending on geographical location and culture, this may look different in varying degrees.
This means the delivery may differ, but the heartbeat should remain the same.
Whether your church consists of suits or shorts, hymnals or Hillsong, KJV or NLT, its primary purpose should be bringing the world the good news of Jesus Christ.
Instead of wasting time arguing about how to deliver the Gospel, let’s just deliver it!