We live in difficult days for the Church. Immorality runs rampant, making for some tough decisions. Standing for truth tends to get pegged as intolerance.
How is the Church supposed to navigate through these difficult times?
1) Emphasize what really matters.
How easy it can be for the Church to focus in on that which is not the most important. That often translates into the opinion that we are against everything and for very little. Putting the spotlight on what really matters could help us from falling into legalism and also help us avoid wasting both time and resources in that which yields little spiritual fruit. Let’s remember Jesus’ words to Martha in Luke 10:41-42 — “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
- 5 Things That Matter More
- Are You For or Against?
- We Need More … But, More of What?
- What Really Matters in Ministry?
- Christ-likeness: Holiness, Not Legalism
2) Be real.
Authenticity communicates far more than words alone. When people experience a first hand, authentic demonstration of the love and power of Christ, it makes a difference. Hypocrisy has the opposite effect, turning people off to the wonderful message we have to proclaim. Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:5 — “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
3) Focus on both truth and grace.
To be the light and salt we are called to be in this world (Matt. 5:13-16) and to function as the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim. 3:15), the Church must not only stand for truth but also communicate it in a way that will be heard. If we are to represent Christ in this world, we must remember that He came full of both grace and truth (Jn. 1:14). Grace without truth leads to a licentious church. Truth without grace leads to a heartless and rigid church unable to effectively reach the world for Him.
As the Church, we have the answer for the sin-ridden world in which we live. Navigating through the tumult will not be easy but when we apply the above three suggestions, we will have greater potential of gaining entrance into people’s lives so we can at least share God’s solution with them.