The Church does not represent a philosophy, it re-presents a person. That person is Jesus Christ. So when we live day in and day out as the church are people seeing Jesus? And what Jesus do they see?
Two compelling questions for the church in the 21st century. We are just two decades shy of being 2000 years removed from when Jesus appeared in the flesh on Planet Earth. As Eugene Peterson describes it “When Jesus appeared and took up residence in the neighborhood.” Through us do people encounter a Risen Jesus or an ancient prophet from a distant time? Instead of the Living Christ too many churches present a well-preserved portrait from a bygone era. Like Sallman’s head of Christ. There is a quaint dignity to this portrait, but do you have to return to that time to relate to that Jesus? Would you actually expect to see him in the street.
Or they put forward a religious billboard reflecting an enduring institution but no life that transforms peoples’ lives. People are not looking for another service organization, even one that serves in the name of Jesus. Rotary and Sertoma do that quite well, thank you and when they’re not being too politically correct even offer a prayer to Jesus. People are looking for a relationship with a living Jesus that gives them hope and purpose and power. They don’t want to do more things. They want to be immeasurably more. Only by presenting them Jesus can they find what they’re seeking.