By Jeff Goins, Editor
You’ve heard the term before. Nominal Christians who go to church only on Christmas and Easter: Creasters. I was in a different place, away from my new home church, and I was tempted to go to church this morning with all the other Creasters. But I took some time on Great Saturday to evaluate why I would do such a thing.
This was tough, because I am that guy who goes to church no matter what. In fact, even before I met Jesus, I would do this. Church was a good thing, and I needed to appear to be a good person by doing good things. So, I forced myself into a pew once a week, which eased any doubts I had about my own goodness, and often fell asleep to lifeless sermons.
What is church? I think it’s a lot of things. It’s a place to worship in spirit and truth, a gathering of the saints to fellowship and share, and the hotspot of kingdom action – where believers are filled up and empowered to go and make disciples.
I didn’t see myself doing any of those things in this foreign place, Georgia. To tell the truth, I’ve been doing church all week with a group of young people who have decided to leave everything and live a Matthew 10 lifestyle for a year, church-planting in eleven different nations. We’ve prayed, prophesied, and healed. We’ve studied, cried, and learned. We’ve invited the Holy Spirit, and he’s shown up.
I’m not knocking institutional churches in this area; I just didn’t feel any intimate bond with any of them and really didn’t think an hour and a half would build such a bond. Most likely, it would have frustrated me and invoked a spirit of judgment. I think it was wisest to just stay away and take a Sabbath.
I miss my church in Franklin and smile to think that they are celebrating the Resurrection in spirit and truth today. It’s such a treasure to have a quality church, no matter what the size or style of programming, that loves Jesus. I know that my generation tends to be critical of just about every category of churches these days. If it’s old-school conservative, we feel that they are out of touch and not relevant. If it’s too modern and evangelical, we accuse it of being a superficial production.
If you’re a church leader these days, you’re bound to receive scorn from the millenials. It’s inevitable. We are a jaded generation who doesn’t really know who we are. We have so much potential and so little direction. My advice for you – from a somewhat jaded idealist – is to just be real. Whatever that means to you, don’t let go of authenticity. If you try to please us or meet us where we’re at, you won’t. Tap into what Christ has for this generation, and challenge us to no end.
We’re tired of easy. We may reject authority; we may scorn you for calling us out. But we need it. Oh God, we need it. We may have no discipline, but for the first time in awhile, we are a generation that will do anything to discover truth. We will lay down our idols and sacrifice our comfort for what church is supposed to be.
I guess I’m still clinging to what Switchfoot calls the Body:
We are a beautiful letdown
The church of the dropouts
The losers, the sinners, the failures,
and the fools
What a beautiful letdown
Are we salt in the wound?
Hey, let us sing one true tune
Easter is a good day to get reborn – to be refreshed and renewed. To realize that God is not dead. He is very much alive: speaking, moving, and loving with reckless abandon.
But in order to get there, you might have to unwrap yourself, exposing some fragile areas of brokenness, religiosity, and superficiality. It may not be easy, it may be painful, but it will be so good. And you will be restored.
Jeff Goins is from Chicago, IL but just recently moved to Nashville, TN. He is editor-in-chief of Wrecked.