It’s that time of year again. It’s time to wrap up the old year and bring in the new year. Along with that comes the annual tradition (for some) of making resolutions for the new year. Stop drinking. Stop smoking. Stop gaining weight. Stop, stop, stop. Why is it that when we make some kind of resolution, it’s usually to stop something? It’s no wonder, to me, that after a few days or weeks, we stop doing what we resolved and go back to the old habit. Instead, maybe we should resolve to start doing something. Besides “lose weight”. Who keeps that resolution anyway?
This year, I resolve to be more of a Christ follower than a Christ admirer.
Several weeks ago, I used those terms in a gathering of our church, and for some reason our people really latched onto those terms. They started talking about how there seemed to be seasons of life when they were just admiring Jesus and not really following him. I can look back on my life and see times when I was just admiring him and not following him. Ironically enough, it’s usually during those times when I’m neck deep in “church work.” For other people, it was different–they became a parent for the first time, work was super busy, they were stressed out, etc. We all agreed that being a Christ admirer was not a position we wanted to be in.
There’s a lot of conversation out there in the worlds of church planting, church revitalization, and the blogosphere about consumerism–how many churches and Christians have fallen into the trap of “customer service”. The church that offers the best music, preaching, and programming seems to be the one that gets the most customers. Many of the megachurches are growing this way (whether they want to admit it or not). The majority of their growth isn’t through “first time customers”, but “disgruntled customers.” The result is that many churches are filled with Christ admirers, and many smaller churches that the large churches are leeching are trying to keep up. What is needed to really make an impact with the gospel and spread the kingdom are Christ followers.
What’s the difference? Come back tomorrow.