Recently I read David Kinnaman’s book unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity… and Why It Matters . I would encourage as many Christian leaders to pick up and read this book as possible, to understand the challenge that Christians now face in North America.
I’ve said from time to time, from my own experiences in evangelical churches, that Christians tend to be either strong, humble, loving, and hardworking people, or pretty messed up people who continue trapped in the same problems for years while barely showing much Christlikeness. I’ve met a few of the former, but I’ve felt that their numbers are dwindling, and that many more of the latter are in our churches. Often enough, I’ve felt that more of the latter kind of people are finding their ways into positions of responsibility and leadership, even into pastoral ministry. Unfortunately, throughout much of US history, the former were more common examples of evangelical Christians than today, and even more, a more scriptural example of what Christians should show to the world.
I’ve often noticed that sermons and topical talks among evangelical churches tend to concentrate on several passages. Nowadays everyone seems to be talking about Jesus’s conversation with the woman at the well from John 4. I’ve also experienced times when the default passages were Elijah sitting under the broom tree and Peter walking on the water. I think that it’s the passages which are being selectively ignored which are tripping us up. Here are two that tell of the lives that Christians are responsible to show to the world. Please, someone else preach and teach in depth on these passages sometime!
Titus 3:1-2: "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men . . . " (The whole passage through verse 8 is well worth being preached regularly. Make it one of your candidating sermons or guest preaching sermons!)
I Thessalonians 4:11-12: "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life will win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
All scripture references taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society and used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.