I am lucky enough to serve a church, in Chicago, where people are excited about coming to worship. I teach new member classes, in which many people cite worship as the thing that has really drawn them to want to get better connected with the church.
As associate pastor for evangelism, I work to welcome new people into a large urban congregation. As I delve into the complexities of outreach in this postmodern age, I find that some of the most interesting conversations happen when I’m speaking to people who work in marketing.
It is often observed by my friends, and even by my wife, that I might be a little too “angry” for someone who supposedly is called to a ministry of presenting the gospel to others. They don’t go so far as to call me a hypocrite, but I do think they’re pointing out that I’m not always that nice, that I don’t necessarily embody forgiveness (or even the golden rule), that “Christian” implies a graciousness I simply lack.
In the social media I often read about a Christian community that has excluded an innocent person or demonized a marginalized group. The writer then juxtaposes this with a pithy saying from Jesus about loving all persons. And there you have it—we Christians are exposed as two-faced and heartless, insensitive to anything but our own proclamations of righteousness.
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