I'm at Arby's today for lunch and I'm filling my large Diet Pepsi at the fountain, and I read the following statement that has been printed on their cups. Don't ask me why I took the time to read it but I did.
"Don't come in and order the usual, because we won't have it. That's not what we're about here. We're about something different. We're about something much better than the usual. Maybe that makes us unusual. But that's how we think around here."
I read this and thought, "Wow! Alter just a few words and that would make a great mantra for the kind of church I want to be a part of."
"Don't come in and worship as usual, because we won't have it. That's not what we're about here. We're about something different. We're about something much better than the usual. Maybe that makes us unusual. But that's how we think around here."
As I pondered those words, I couldn't help but here the words of Isaiah the prophet. He said, "The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.'" (Isaiah 29:13)
And David said in the Psalms, "You (God) do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God." (Psalms 51:16,17)
I get this feeling that too many churches need someone to rattle their cage. They're full of people just going through the motions. They move their lips at all the right times but do not worship the living God, they sit politely through a message and give the preacher a complimentary pat on the back and yet leave unchanged, they pitch some money in the plate and somehow think they've paid their dues. Don't they realize there is so much more!
I want to be a part of a community of Christ followers that is different. I want to be a part of a church that is broken before the Lord and the people aren't afraid to scream it. I want to be a part of something that is passionate and radical!
That's how we think around here.