January 20
Jesus, plain and simple
Jason Nelson

I really think we need to strip it down. I don’t think we should dumb it down, but I think we need to strip it down. Most Christians know that for decades now, churches in America have been declining in membership. There is no denominational exception. And most Christians are aware that the number of non-Christian people in the world is increasing. In an attempt to address these problems, different brands of Christianity have recommitted themselves to do better what they believe distinguishes them from everyone else and will attract people to them. And there’s a lot of “inside baseball” discussion about what it means to be a truly authentic (you can fill in the blank here). The force of persuasion and resources has been directed at a lot of external things that are likely to trend away.

So I think we need to strip it down because we may have no choice. Like the acoustic version of a well-orchestrated song, we can grab people’s attention with the compelling beauty and simplicity of God’s essential message to us.

May I ask that if by God’s providence and grace a lost soul stumbles upon your gathering—amid the cherished bells, smells, sights, sounds, traditions, and rituals—no one leaves without hearing this message, plain and simple? “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).


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