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I just spent some time researching Emergent type churches here in LA…hmmm…I think we are doing something wrong.
There were like 3 that I found. And they were in Fullerton or Downtown LA. None in the Valley.
Are we doing something wrong. With a population of over 3.5 million people in LA county, I would hope that this would be a hot bed for Christ to move in.
Maybe I’m just being idealistic here.
But maybe I’m not.
What are we doing wrong?
Are we not presnting a Christ that draws people to himself?
I guess not. There must be at least a few things we can change in the way we are doing church that will allow people to encounter a genuine Christ.
I want to move.
Meaning I want to get out of the way. And allow Christ to be the great I AM.
Me, myself, and I, not to mention churches are getting in the way of allowing people to find Christ. We probably don’t need more churches in LA. Nor do we need more gimmicks…I swear if I hear the words “purpose driven” attached to anymore church buildings…
(Just a side note, my church is doing PD (community) in the fall…oh joy.)
Where are the churches that are embodying the emergent movement, allowing people to encounter Christ and Christ alone.
This is where reform needs to happen. Instead of struggling to keep dying churches alive, why can’t we just focus on who we have and how to get them into communion with Christ during their daily lives.
I’ve heard it said about youth ministry, that we should stop saying the phrase “hey, where is everyone?” when a smaller crowd gathers. Instead we should be thankful for the people who have come and welcome them, affirming that they are the only ones that matter, since they did come. We should be willing to pour everything into those few, instead of asking why there are not more people.
LA is not a spiritually dry place. But we (the church) are definitely not making God and Christ accessible to those who are seeking Christ. Probably because people no longer want to encounter God in church.
I think people are now smart enough (those who truly seek after God) to know that God is not limited to a building on a day, at a time, and in certain clothes. I feel the longing of people wanting to encounter God where ever they go. I sense it in my students. I sense it in non-christians. I hear God telling me to provide a place that is not church. Because God cannot and WILL NOT be contained in a box or a book or a building.
If God is truly the great I AM, then our attention should be in prayer that churches will come to their senses and begin teaching people how to encounter God, instead of how to feel good. Our prayers should echo God’s longing for those who drive by our doors on a Sunday morning. Prayers that they might feel the draw of God, enticing them to where he ultimately lives, because the church is ordained as his home. But just like us, his home is for rest and renewal, the work is always done outside, in the world.