Jesus: not just because we like the name

Okay, so here goes.
I’m having an……..event.
I’m not sure what to call it, really, just a major reassessment.
I’ve been thinking a lot about our little community here at The Well and am now wondering about many things.

We have designed ourselves around a series of beliefs that we feel like are not mainstream, except, I’ve been paying attention, and many places share many of the same values that we have.

We have attempted to define ourselves through methodology and what we do. The thing is, there are many groups that do what we do. We want to identify ourselves as a service organization, but so does every church with any hint of understanding of the Gospel. I just read through a list of pagan organizations that do charitable work! Several churches in the city are involved with the Arts on multiple levels. Our ministry ideas are good but, not original. Based on my recent research, almost everything we do as a church is being done elsewhere, with more resources (people, money, buildings). Note: I have noticed a certain lack of ministries aimed towards victim recovery, score one for restoration! Heck, we tried to define ourselves by what we DON’T believe; but truthfully, the churches that rely on that are treading a violent path fraught with danger and controversy.

So then, who are we? Where is our growth? If this method and this message were so important, what’s going on?

Here’s the thing, I am thinking.

Simply put, we are the Body of Christ, He is to be our identity. So the simple answer would be: Love God, love people, follow Jesus. (Not mine, got it from a book I am reading!) Jack and I were talking and we both struggle communicating what we are to people we meet. Are we a church? Well, yes but we don’t like the “c” word, despite the fact that it is completely originated in Christ. Are we a community? Well, yes, most of the time, I guess. Are we experimental? Well, to us we are. Are we trying to get free from the “Christian ghetto” culture and teach Jesus the way He intended? Well, in some ways, in the areas where we are not sold out to the American Dream.

But…….Where is the power? Where is the passion? Where is the lost art of being lost in the name of Jesus, name above all names? Where is the promise that at the mention of His name every knee would bow?

There is no blame in these questions, unless the blame lie with me. If we are not centered on Jesus, it is my fault and mine alone.

Karin, my wife, tells me that we may have needed all the time of method talk and knowing what we like and don’t like. Karin loves me. Today I feel like I may have traded away my birthright for a bowl of lukewarm soup; or traded away passion in favor of flavorless thinking and pursuit of the wrong dream.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we are in the right place, and have believed that all along. I also believe that individually, we are probably focused correctly, if not passionately on Jesus. All I can say is this: I have been refocused; no longer on who we are but whose. I am feeling my redemption and my love of Jesus and the truth is, I am changing again, entering a new era, call it what you will, something is happening.

It’s time for us to be radical, not just in action or appearance, but on a core level. We need to embrace the identity of Christ in us and let it flow baby! Do we love Jesus?
Oh yeah? Do you talk about Him? Talk to Him? Follow Him? Believe Him? Trust in him? Study Him? Emulate Him?

Worry a little less today about doing the right thing and a little more about loving Jesus.


5 thoughts on “Jesus: not just because we like the name

  1. I think many of us are tired. We’ve been doing this for 2 years now, and have seen very little growth; which, I think makes us put forth less effort, since we don’t believe our efforts will be “rewarded.” It is important for all of us to refocus on whose we are (and not who we are). Only Christ can give us the strength to continue, and the passion we need to make a difference. We also need to remember, that even if our efforts are not rewarded here and now, and immediately, we are earning our rewards in heaven. And we are also to do all things as for Christ, and not for men – which to me means giving everything we have at all times, even when we’re tired.

  2. preach on sister (that was for Maja!) I think sometimes when we get focused on theology, methology and all that we get shifted off of what it was inititially about – Jesus. We came together because of our love for Him. He brought us together because He picked us out to be together. Our passions and gifts fit too well together for it not to be from Him. I know I’m trying to remember this all too. Thanks for the reminder Jason. I like it when you talk about your changes.

  3. Honestly, I don’t think I love Christ the way I should. Forget all my exuses it is real simple.

  4. Good points. To be fair and honest, the American Dream isn’t all bad – but just about any resource “the good side” uses can be used by the other side as well – take the church for example.

  5. OH MY GOODNESS!!! I did not read this before I spoke with you today. Let me tell you something. At times Jesus…YES…JESUS questioned the will of the Father. But point blank…it WAS the will of the Father that He not pass the cup from Him!!! As it is not His will that the cup pass from YOU!!! DIE PEOPLE!!! DIE!!! Die to what you think you should see! DIE to what you think you want to see!!! ONLY Live to what HE sees, and what HE expects!!! STAY FOCUSED ON Him and IN HIM!!!

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