1 Corinthians 1:17 NLT
'For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News – and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.'
We live in an age of personality. Reality TV shows are overwhelmed with applicants. No one’s prepared to wait for their five minutes of fame. The worst of me observes that this same virus has entered the Church. Now we have platform personalities, in demand worship leaders and a Christian ministry industry marketing products from the erudite to the plain vulgar. Of course, it’s not lost on me that I am in fact benefiting from the very thing I highlight!
Paul makes a big statement that Christian ministry is not about identity, it’s about service. The degree to which my identity is located within my ministry is the degree to which my life is missing God’s course.
As Christians we can begin to take great pride in our brand, or church, as if it reflects more of the kingdom than other church expressions. We can criticise those who are not as active or evangelistic as we perceive ourselves to be. This leads us to align with one leader over and against others. It is self-defeating; a house divided must surely fall. We are one body, so we’d best get used to learning to live with our ‘strange’ cousins.
The Christian message is simple and clear. It revolves around the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection. Its leader is Christ and we are to by all means enjoy diverse approaches to encountering God congregationally and individually, always recalling we are together forever. I’ve tasted big platform life and it is intoxicating. I found it easier to make compromises in my values system for benefits I aspired to and gave very real immediate gratification. Consistency is tough. Paul calls us back to mission and warns us of the dangers of platform and profile.
QUESTION: Is the character of your church as important to you as following Jesus?
PRAYER: Lord, I pray that your Church around the world would preach the Good News about Jesus.