In a recent article for his blog, Ed Stetzer writes: “Too many churches love their church culture more than they love Christ’s mission. Yet if I follow Paul in the way he followed Christ, I will care for people of the culture who exist outside my church. The gospel has not changed. The mission has not changed. It is still on a mission of reconciliation, pleading on behalf of Christ, “Be reconciled to God” (
So if we’re going to endure today, to be faithful in faithless times, we’re going to have to leave where we are comfortable. We’re going to have to go and tell, not just wait for them to come and see. That may mean reshaping some of the ways we preach and lead the church. We always must build a biblically faithful church, but live in the context where we find ourselves.
A biblically faithful church in Seattle should look different than one in Selma, Alabama. A church in Selma should look different than one in Senegal. The bottom line is that where we are may influence the way we have conversations about Jesus, but the conversations always are about Jesus.
Paul was unashamed to say, “What you have worshiped in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.” We live in a world where people are unaware of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The answer for being faithful in faithless times is to take the unchanging gospel message to build bridges, start conversations and engage in relationships with people who are far from God.
The problem is that many of us have forgotten that ministry must be less about us and more about Jesus, His Kingdom and His mission. When I look to Paul, I am struck with his boldness and savvy. May we all be bold and wise as we engage an increasingly hostile and confused culture around us with the greatest news the world has ever known–Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life.”