Pastor Jon for Website Messages

 Pastor Jon Anderson


1 Corinthians 2:2, 7-10 “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified… But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God”.


 

Today, all across the country, people are bemoaning the fact that the church isn’t attracting as many people as it used to-that it doesn’t have the influence that it used to-that attendance has shrunk-that many churches have closed. We long for the “good old days”, when our basements were filled with Sunday School kids and our pews were filled with worshipers each week. We’ve tried all kinds of gimmicks to bring them back, to make our worship contemporary and our sermons more “relevant”, whatever that means. On the whole, our efforts haven’t worked. In our area, we can blame our shrinking population-but we still have quite a number of people who don’t come, who could be coming. If I knew what the solution was, I could be making a fortune writing books and living in some mansion-but although I don’t know the ultimate solution, I do believe Paul gives us a way forward. I’m reminded of a story one of our coaches told us when I was in high school-every year, at the first practice of the football season, he would sit his players down in the locker room, hold up a football, and say to them, “Gentlemen, this is a football!” Now, you may wonder why a football coach would have to remind his players of what they were playing with-but it was his way of saying that if they were to be successful, they needed to review the fundamentals of the game. And perhaps as Christian congregations, we need to review the fundamentals of our faith and make sure that in our efforts to draw people into our communities that we don’t neglect those fundamentals. Today, many churches are promoting political causes all over the spectrum-if people want that, they can stay home and watch CNN or Fox News or whatever. Other churches focus on entertainment-upbeat music and humorous sermons-again, we can stay home and get much better entertainment on our phones or TV’s. If our churches are to be renewed, Paul is clear-our focus must be on “Christ, and Him crucified” and on God’s love for all people, and the incredible future that God has prepared for us. This is what the church has to offer that can be found nowhere else. When we focus on these things in our worship and in our teaching, and when we live that out in our ministry, we are being faithful to what God has called us to be. Will people start making the church a priority once again? Only God knows the answer to that, but I believe that our call is to make God’s message of Christ crucified for our sins, raised for our sins, and coming again, and living out that message every day, our priority. May God empower us to do that, and may God’s peace be with us.


Pastor Jon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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