Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vision For Catalyst France (pt 3)

. . . to plant churches where French people have an opportunity to see the Gospel lived out in the lives of transformed believers, hear the message of Christ clearly communicated in an exciting and relevant way, and experience lasting life-change through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Seeing It

This may be the most important part of a person's openness to the Gospel. Jesus was not just a good teacher. In fact his disciples followed him for a long time and really didn't get it. But they followed him anyway . . . until they got it.

Imagine going to a car dealership to buy a car. The salesman tells you about a new car you have never seen before. It sounds great but he didn't have this car to show you. Would you buy it? What if he shows you a picture? The truth is most people don't buy into anything new unless they have had an opportunity to see it, test its claims and hear from others think about it.

The biggest problem with all this is that much of the body of Christ is not living out a transformed life with Jesus in community. We spend so much time focusing on peripheral issues and rules and expectations that our focus is not on Jesus. The greatest commandments are to love God and then your neighbor. And they will know we are Christians by our love. So people will question our love for God if we don't love people. All people. Not just the ones in our Sunday School class.

We must build a community of faith that is not our typical expression of the local church. One where people love God and people and live it out in very raw, authentic ways. It can't be taught. It must be caught. It must begin with the leadership and it must begin early. We can get away with teaching what we aren't living. But no one will catch something from us that we aren't living.

In todays western culture, many people will accept something they observe is real even if they don't fully understand it. But they may never understand it if they don't observe it.

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