Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Main Thing

One pastor runs the "cowboy church" in Texas and dresses the part - cowboy hat and big belt and all. Another pastor in Texas wears a suit and tie in a renovated sports stadium even though it seems to me that a jogging suit might be more appropriate. Regardless, how one dresses for church, and how the leader of that church dresses, undoubtedly defines who that church will be and become. If the pastor is more casual in nature, then a casual attire will more than likely become the predominate clothing in that environment. Likewise, if the pastor raises the bar and dresses in the finest of clothes, his or her congregation is going to attempt to match.

Interestingly, each of the two above pastors and their churches are trying to reach two different people groups. The "cowboy church" is trying to reach out to cowboys and the other church is trying to reach out to a different group of well-dressed individuals. Either way, neither one of them is wrong in their approach. Both are doing what God has led them to do and are leading the charge to share the Good News in each environment. Still, for some, there's only one way and one way only of "doing church." As if the creative genius that God is, only prescribed one mode or one way of worshiping him in the corporate environment that takes place for most on Sunday mornings in a "traditional" church building. Wouldn't such expressions of Christianity be boring further advancing the belief by outsiders that church isn't for me?

Simply put, for the unchurched and dechurched, our worship times better offer them something that matches who they are. When we lift up one expression of worship over another as the only way, we're saying in effect that what they are, as often shown in how they dress, is wrong and needs to be changed in order for you to worship in this place and at this time. No wonder that worship and church attendance in America is in a rut. When we lose sight of the main thing - the imitation of Christ - we get caught up in petty arguments over issues that make no difference to God. A focus on Christ, and living out our life as modeled for us by Christ, is the main thing and needs to become more of the main thing in our lives. When it's not, the shinning light on the hill becomes a dull glimmer that's fading fast.