Recently I was in a conversation with one of our church planting residents. It was our Thursday coaching meeting and he had just gotten back from visiting a fast growing church plant in our city (Atlanta). The church was only a few months old and was already running over 300. The young church planter was obviously intoxicated with the vision of church planting. He quickly told me about the incredible job the new church did with preschool, parking, greeting, worship, teaching, etc. As soon as he caught his breath I asked him if Jesus was part of the service. The young planter paused and asked me to clarify what I meant. I meant what I meant. Was Jesus in the service! He paused again and this time he looked moretroubled. He finally replied, “No, not really.”
You see it is possible to plant a really cool church and leave Jesus out. I see it happening all the time. Jesus even said it would happen. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.”
Who was Jesus talking too? Was he talking to the church in general? Was he talking to a church? Was he talking to my church? Was he talking to me? The answer to all these questions is “Yes”. That’s right, yes! Jesus was talking to me and talking to you.
We have a tendency over time to loose our way. We tend to nudge Jesus out of our lives and our churches unaware. We do this a number of ways. One way we do it is by becoming more about religion and less about Jesus. That’s why I have been preaching, teaching, and writing about loosing our religion and rediscovering the simplicity of Jesus and his ways.
Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at your church, church plant, or even life. Where is Jesus in it?
Why not take a few weeks and detox from religion. I recently wrote a new book called Detox for the Overly Religious. It’s now available on amazon.com. Detox is about a little less of me and a little more of Jesus each day.
Also make plans to join us February 22-23, 2010 for our Velocity Church Planting Conference. At Velocity you will hear from Rick Warren, EdYoung, Steven Furtick, Dave Gibbons, Alan Hirsch, Shawn Lovejoy, Larry Osborne, Darrin Patrick, Pete Wilson, Tony Morgan, Will Mancini, Tim Stevens, Brian Bloye, and many more.