Phew, what a few days it has been here in Rockford. It’s been great meeting new people, talking about the Church, the Gospel, what that means for us, and what it looks like.
Over the past week there’s something I’ve noticed that has been glaring more and more to me in the church meetings so many of us attend. I’ve had to sit on it and think it through a little bit before I wrote my thoughts out. But I think I can finally pinpoint what it is that is driving me so nuts about the things we are being taught.
There is this plague of “you” seeping in to our teachings and it’s driving me up a wall. I hear it all the time “What is God’s plan for you” “What are the dreams you have” “What is your goal” “How are you going to accomplish this plan” “Where are you going in your life” “What is God’s purpose for you”. I’ve heard all of these phrases and a ton more like them in church meetings all over the place. The problem though is that they ask the wrong question. I am so tired of being asked those questions because ultimately they are empty questions. Why? Because they are dealing with you as the main subject and not Christ. It’s almost like the question is really asking “how can you make God respond the way you want” “How can you make your dreams come true with God’s help” I have news for you, being a follower of Christ has nothing to do with your dreams, and everything to do with God’s dreams.
It’s almost a type of Dr. Phil style self-help has infiltrated many of our meetings and we’ve Christianized it by adding “Oh and with God’s help”. I think that is a terrible place for any Christian to start because it’s put the focus right back on me, or you. Whenever I’m asked the question “what is God’s plan for you” I A. Don’t know or B. Think immediately about my dreams and how God wants me to accomplish them. Again, it comes back to me. And the gospel ultimately isn’t about me, it’s ultimately about Christ and his plan for the world and how we play a part in His vision for humanity, not our vision.
A much better question to ask is “What is God’s plan for the world and how do I play a part in what God is already doing”. When we ask questions like that, we take the focus off of our kingdoms, off of our ministry’s, programs, meetings, and ourselves. What then happens is that we put the focus back on Christ and then we play the part that he wrote for us. See, our plans are way too small for God. Our visions? I think He chuckles sometimes at how exclusive they can be. But God, now His plan, His vision, that’s the ultimate one to be a part of. I think we need to take the focus off ourselves ASAP and turn it all to Christ and find our roles in HIS kingdom, not in our tiny individualistic local church kingdoms.
Back on topic. I find it interesting that Jesus never asks His disciples, or the congregations He taught “hey guys, what’s your dream? How can I help you accomplish your vision for your life”. Instead He teaches people what the kingdom of God is like, He instructs His followers in the ways of a kingdom, a vision, a plan, that is already set in to place. This is what we need to bring back to our meetings. I think it’s a very empty and hollow idea to think that God is giving us a “fresh” vision. No, God started His vision in the beginning, it climaxed 2,000 years ago, and now we get to be a part in his continual vision now that is known as the Kingdom of God. We must get the focus off of ourselves, we must begin to tear down the kingdom of “me” and we must immerse ourselves in the Kingdom of God which is much bigger, inclusive, radical, and active then we will ever understand.