Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
Remember this commercial from Wendy’s?
Pretty brilliant advertising, really. I’m convinced it is what started the current trend by restaurants and burger joints to sell us embarrassingly HUGE portions of food. Remember back when you could actually finish a plate of food you ordered at a restaurant? So, Wendy’s pokes a little fun at burger joints for giving us smallish burgers and look what we’ve got now…massive amounts of beef everywhere. Score, Wendy’s.
Since it worked so well for Wendy’s, I’d like to propose a communications campaign for the church in America. It will be called the “Where’s the Power?” campaign. We’ll run adds of “man on the street” interviews asking people why they are so repelled by the church, to which each of them (in some fun, unique way) will respond, “Where’s the power?” And you know what? They’ll be right.
In Matthew 18, when Jesus described his “church” and how it would function and what it would be like (remember, none of the disciples had ever seen anything like “eklesia” before, so it required some vision-casting by Jesus), he brought his entire lesson to a climax when He described the supernatural power with which His church would be equipped:
“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:18-20
Powerful stuff, right? Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? I would like to find this church and join it. The problem, of course, is finding it. This is NOT the church in America. I’ve heard accounts from South America and from Africa and from South Korea that it IS the church in other places around the world, but I don’t think any of us can make a colorable argument that these words describe the church in America, with the possible exception of some small pockets of believers here and there.
What is clearly missing so often in the western church is an actual empowering of the Holy Spirit toward God-sized things that simply cannot be explained in human terms. That is the God of the Bible. When He moved, there was never any doubt about whether this was the accomplishment of man or of something much bigger than us. It was always clear.
I believe there is an entire lost and broken world looking for God. I do not believe, however, that we are really showing Him to them in many cases. We’re showing them how great WE are at singing and preaching and building facilities and being creative and relevant. But most of what the world can see can easily be explained in human terms; nothing really God-sized about it.
I believe that, when the church in America falls under this conviction: that there is truly NOTHING meaningful we can accomplish apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, that we don’t need bigger buildings or better programs or more relevant music unless we first get a healthy dose of the Holy Spirit and His power…I believe then we will find answers to so many of the questions we have been asking about cultural relevance and missional worldviews and doctrinal purity. I believe our answers to these (and other) burning questions will come much easier when we start asking the first and foremost question:
“Where’s the Power?” And how do we get it?
© Blake Coffee
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