I had the night off from my gigs.
I decided to take in a church service at a small pioneer work where I’m staying. It is called Renaissance Fellowship. It touts the uniqueness of being a Christian church focused on the arts. Since I’ve been known to have a brain cell or two tuned in that direction, I was titillated.
The church is held at a community center and has about twenty-five folks who attend. The people are typical “church.” About 35% of them are excited, involved, busy scurrying around, and the rest of them have the appearance of folks arriving for a seminar on an unknown subject, with the promise that they might get free passes to a restaurant at the end.
Renaissance suffers from what every church suffers from. In trying to find God, they accidentally kill passion.
The pastor, a young man in his early forties, has a delightful desire and talent for sharing his thoughts. You can tell he is still deeply involved in the pursuit of God and the salvation of human souls, but growing a bit worn around the edges in all the well-doing. It happens to all of us.
But I heard something I liked. I heard rumblings that sounded like possibility.
Even though his message was plagued with too much preaching to the soul and teaching to the brain, I sensed that he’s beginning toreach for the heart.
For you see–human beings are not really spiritual. We aren’t thoughtful. We are emotional.
It doesn’t matter if it’s about work, play, a football stadium or church–the evidence that we are impacted is always an emotional outburst.
So I speak with great clarity to this pastor and tell him to keepreaching for the heart. Go ahead and abandon preaching to the soul and teaching to the mind. No one cares what Abraham, Moses, Joseph or any of the old patriarchs did. If the stories do not relate to family, Wal-mart and the Internet, they will not touch the hearts of American people.
Instructing the brain by pointing out clever pieces of information may once have been a path of probability, but no longer. Our brains are inundated with too much information, and of course, way too many posts on Facebook about nothing.
- Reach the heart.
- Touch the heart.
- And demand a heartfelt response.
It is the only way people are healed. As Jesus said, “If you say to this mountain, be removed, and you do not doubt in your heart, it shall be done.”
The soul, the brain and the body have nothing to do with moving mountains. It is a heartfelt action.
Although I’m sure they are delightful and blessed people, many of the folks at Renaissance were doing their best imitation of being church cardboard cutouts. But becoming a church of artistry will require that the congregation that’s already there–tiny as it is–become emotionally excited with its own faith.
If it doesn’t, they will be just an average church that occasionally puts on plays.
The good news is that the Gospel is an experience of the heart.
The better news is, the pastor of Renaissance Fellowship and his congregation have a great opportunity to become heartfelt.
I have confidence in them.
For you see, the pastor is my son.
Published by Jonathan Cring