Why? Because I'm tired of hearing a pastor who pulls down $300,000 a year as an author and speaker telling me that I'm not giving radically enough. I'm tired of a pastor who spends half the year on the road teaching leadership--instead of leading his flock--telling me how I need to love God's church. I'm tired of hearing people brag about the great impact 'seeker' megachurches are having on the unchurched and lost, only to find out they drop $125,000 per year on parking lot attendants (as one large, famous church does). I'm tired of people telling me to be "on mission" when they spend half their church's tithes and offerings on A/V equipment that would make a rock star jealous.
Do you want to know what radical Christian mission really looks like? Do you?
"The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Gal 5:22-23, The Voice)Now that--that is radical mission. Show unconditional love to who don't deserve it--bullies and terrorists and criminals and bigots and cheaters. Live your life in joy rather than bitterness, regardless of your circumstances. Be a person who is at peace with their lives, rather than anxious about controlling the future. Live in patience, waiting quietly until God's plan unfolds, not forcing anything. Be kind to everyone--that person that others say, "Boy, what a nice guy!" Be good, trying to do good works that would make God proud. Be faithful, not giving in to doubts about God. Be a person known as gentle, rather than violent or aggressive. Master your emotions and passions, showing self-control and moderation in all things.
Can you be that person? Because that, my friends, is a mature Christian.
But megachurches and the seeker movement aren't aiming for this, are they? They are trying to make converts, when Jesus told us to make disciples (Matt 28:19). This drive-by evangelism is dangerous and un-Christian. Our pastors are not supposed to be CEOs, they are supposed to be Shepherds guiding us and counseling us.
I'm so, so happy to be at a church which is built on discipling people, rather than just converting them. A church where we meet each week and celebrate God's word and pray together corporately and share in communion together as brothers and sisters. A church with pastors who not only teach, but also love--and who are not satisfied with just converting the lost but who truly embrace God's challenge to go and make disciples.
Because frankly, when I look at most of the churches out there today...I see nothing that is even recognizably Christ-like.