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One Responsibility

We’re continuing our book club discussion of The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. This week we’re in Chapter 21: Why We’re Not So Popular Anymore. For all the great response posts this week, head on over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog. I know you’ll want to check them out. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, share your thoughts! I always look forward to our conversations.  –You can read my disclosure here–


Mr. Stearns points out to Christians in this chapter that we may not agree with the assessment the world has for us, but like it or not, perception is reality.

The overwhelming majority of those outside the Christian faith have a negative view of us and though much of it is understandable, it’s still frustrating.  That’s not to say it can’t be turned around if we can be honest and realize who we are called to be.

In a time of prayer not too long ago, someone said God gave them a picture of a spinal cord and that it was coming into alignment with the Head, who is Jesus. Praise God for things coming into order! In those moments of His presence, God reminded me that there are five senses and all but one are contained in the head.

That means…

  • Jesus is responsible for the ears (hearing), eyes (seeing), mouth (tasting as well as speaking), and the nose (smelling)
  • The body of Christ has one responsibility: touch.

We are the ones who reach into the world and offer the love, compassion, grace, and mercy of Jesus. That doesn’t mean that we don’t see or hear from Him or that He won’t use people in that process, but we’ve missed the point way too often. We’re supposed to turn that vision–that revelation–into action, serving those around us and those far away. We take the grace He freely gives and run with it to the hurting.

Time to unclench those fists and get up on our feet to go.

We have sadly looked to charismatic and driven people to be the head, but they never measure up and they can’t. Many may have had good intentions, but it’s not good enough. We need Jesus to be Jesus and the Church to be the Church (profound, right?).

We may not change the world’s perception of Christians in a day, but we can change one person’s just by reaching out and living our faith. We are peculiar people, no doubt about it; but we’ve been peculiar for the wrong reasons. It’s time to recognize our place, our mission, and our mandate. It’s to take Jesus’ life and message to a world in need, to act on our faith in accordance with His word and generosity.

The political and cultural wars waged will not change the hearts of men. For the vast majority it won’t even persuade their thinking because we’ve already been relegated to irrelevance. The only way to break that is to honor the Head by being the body–touching, giving, healing, restoring, hugging, loving.

Have you experienced a meeting/conversation with someone with an overwhelming disdain for Christians? Or how about non-Christians who are fairly positive about Christians and churches? Have you seen anyone change their mind/heart? What do you think will do it?

12 Comments

  1. I have had that experience… and I have been the one with the disdain.

    When I was the one filled with disdain for Christianity… my perception was changed via a young man who continuously chose to love me and share the love of Jesus with me in spite of my rejection.

    I endeavor now to be the one who continuously emotes the love of God in my life’s encounters. (Sometimes I fail though.)
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..BD-THiOG What Does Our Brand Say About UsMy Profile

    • We all fall down sometimes, but we get back up. Thankful this young man kept reaching out to you. I pray a whole lot of people will have a similar testimony about me. Thanks Dusty.

  2. The other day at the Y a lady whom I met over a year ago asked me what denomination my church was. I told her Non-Denom. I asked her this past Monday why she asked. Did she just find out I was a pastor? Had she heard about what is going on? She asked out of curiosity. No. And No. I told her that I don’t brag about being a pastor but when someone finds out I don’t want them surprised (in a bad way). Up until this point she has been very outspoken about her views of the church & Christianity. I saw a different side of her Monday. She has seen the good and bad of things. I hope she begins to see the good. Thanks Jason.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..Perfect! Who MeMy Profile

    • Not to puff you up, but I’m sure if she hangs around you enough, she’ll see some good things about Christians. We keep shining the light! Thanks so much, Bill.

  3. It’s sad to see such bad perceptions of Christians, though in most cases, we’ve done it to ourselves. Most people know what we are against, not Who we are for.

    I think the only thing that will change their perceptions is if we stop focusing on sin, stop focusing on telling people what not to do, and really just start loving them -- spending our money impacting our community, not building bigger buildings. Seeing the church as an agent of change, not a Sunday service. Using our resources, gifts, talents not in a Sunday service, but out in the community -- restoring broken homes, tutoring kids, providing food for the hungry, homes for the homeless, and solutions to problems in our cities. When I started doing that, I’ve seen some of the hardest hearts against Christ become open to Him.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Focused on LifeMy Profile

    • Exactly, Jason--that’s excellent. We have to stop pretending everything is fine or just lamenting that we’re misunderstood. We have to be out there and loving as He loves. It’ll be amazing if more people will get the realization that we don’t have to change the world’s perceptions if we’ll be faithful with one and then another and another. I really appreciate your thoughts (and you heart to serve). Thanks!

  4. I think some of it will happen when we stop trying to point out the problems (the world has misperceptions about us, a few crazies who say they are Christian ruin it for the rest of us, etc) and start being the solution.

    My former pastor and mentor used to tell me all the time: Anyone can point out the problems. True leaders offer solutions.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Focused on LifeMy Profile

    • Totally agree, Jason. The blame game gets us nowhere fast. Thanks for adding the additional insight.

  5. one person at a time — that’s definitely how change will come. Well said, man!
    mo recently posted..188- New EndeavorMy Profile

    • Thanks Mo. 🙂

  6. The day it all clicked for me was the day when a baby Christian said to me, “I know God loves me because of the way you love me.” And I realized then that I don’t have to change the word. I don’t have to change my country. Or even my city. I just have to LOVE one person at a time. God is love and His power will work through that love to change lives.

    • What a powerful statement. And though many couldn’t put it into words, they could say the same thing. Love your story--thanks so much, Sarah.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: One Responsibility http://bit.ly/eZ0gUM
  2. Sarah Salter - RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: One Responsibility http://bit.ly/eZ0gUM
  3. Jason Stasyszen - Discussing the Hole in our Gospel: One Responsibility on Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/1rZULo
  4. Sarah Salter - RT @br8kthru: Discussing the Hole in our Gospel: One Responsibility on Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/1rZULo
  5. Jason Stasyszen - RT @sarahmsalter: RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: One Responsibility http://bit.ly/eZ0gUM <<thanks Sarah & Dusty
  6. Jay Cookingham - One Responsibility http://feedly.com/k/hDF5UL
  7. Jason Stasyszen - New Blog Post: One Responsibility http://ow.ly/1aW8ZB
  8. Helenatrandom - RT @br8kthru: New Blog Post: One Responsibility http://ow.ly/1aW8ZB
  9. Jason Stasyszen - Join in the discussion & share your thoughts: One Responsibility http://ow.ly/3GKIl today on Connecting to Impact
  10. Jason Stasyszen - Previously on Connecting to Impact: One Responsibility http://is.gd/PxzE98 #archives

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