We’ve broken out into workshop sessions. I’m in the one titled “Growing your Church Out of the Culture” with John Burke. He is pastor at Gateway Community Church in Austin, TX. He wrote a popular book title “No Perfect People Allowed”.
I’m sitting next to a guy who smells like mildew, but I’m sure he’s a great guy.
Here we go…
He’s starting by telling of several folks who are a part of his church that were sex addicts, drug dealers, homeless people, lesbians, and agnostics. Almost all of these folks came to Christ the first year of the church. He loved it because this group was fairly representative of the folks in the culture.
The question he’ll attempt to answer in this workshop is: how do we help the culture love Jesus.
1. Create a church culture (vibe, feel, language, environment) that is loving and accepting of people who don’t love Jesus. He uses the Corinthians passage to show this. You know where Paul planted and Apollos watered but God gave the growth. I’m not sure where that is right now. You can find it at www.biblegateway.com. Anyway, it’s God’s job to reach people. It’s our job to be missionaries to our city. That will look different everywhere. Jesus also does this in John 4 and Matthew 9. This shows grace, tolerance, and trust.
The mildew smelling guy got up and left.
2. Know the people of your culture. Hear their stories, have them over, and build friendships with them. They will be raunchy and messy, but so are you, so get in there.
Although some good things were said, this wasn’t a real helpful workshop for me. I get this and feel like we’re doing it at Crew. If you want the full dose of this teaching, I think it’s in the book I mentioned above. Check it out.