If I ask a group of Christians to describe how they are accustomed to reaching out to others, often what they describe is how they go about getting people to their church. It may be a subtle shift, but church has become the content of the message. With good intentions, we may not even realize what we're doing. Our church may be a wonderful community of healing and spiritual transformation, but it's not the message. It's programs are not the message. It's pastor is not the message. It's worship service isn't the message. Jesus, the resurrected Messiah, is the Good News and hope for salvation.
Jesus changes lives, and he is the Message and the meaning of our salvation. He is the resurrection and the life. If Jesus isn't the message, we may end up adding a lot of great new members to our churches, but we may fall short of God's intention for us.
May we open our mouths and tell of what God has done in the power of Jesus Christ.
Jared Looney (New York City)