The Big Secret Part 2
Written by Joe Stephenson
The Big Secret Part 2
Have you ever been a situation where you felt out of place? I have, and let me tell you what! It can be super uncomfortable! About a year and a half ago I moved to Chandler, Indiana. One of my biggest concerns was finding a study/chill place outside of my home and office (AKA. a coffee shop). I did not want to go to the mainline coffee house chains, so I looked around. I found a place, but not the place. We all want to feel connected, but how does being connected with God supposed to connect us to others? Well, it is a Big Secret!
To understand the Big Secret, you first must understand the four basic principles that the Big Secret rest upon. The four principles consist of these: Bible, Prayer, Church, and Mission/Evangelism (see my previous blog on The Big Secret to learn about the first two components).
The other day I was visiting a church. I was talking with the Pastor, and I made the comment that he had a nice church. He replies with this “Yeah, the people are great here.” At that moment, I realized what I had done. I had forgotten about the people. But this pastor was all about his congregants. The church is not the building but rather the people. We are the church. From now on when I say church I am talking about the body of people and not the building! This is what it means to be a part of the community of faith that allows us to be connected.
There are 3 basic models that churches use to conduct their ministries: 1) seeker-sensitive church, 2) The Believers Church, and 3) the Social Club Church. The seeker-sensitive church is designed to implement ministries or worship services that reach out to non-believers. The strength of this model is that the seeker-sensitive churches become a hospital for the those that are spiritually broken (whatever that means). The weakness of this church model is that churches that use it forget about those that are already in believers. The “already” saved seem to be forgotten and set aside. The believer’s church is designed to create a body that is focused on worshipping God. This model strength keeps the body focused on worshipping the almighty. The weakness of this model is that the believer’s church and ministries conduct themselves in such a way that one cannot possibly become connected unless they were already a part of that body. The social club church is the church that focuses on being social. The strength of this model is found in creating relationships and being in community with each other. Well, the weakness is that these churches often leave God out of the equation.
Wow, that was a lot of compacted information! Let me point you in the right direction of what to do with it. I believe that churches should provide places in the community that allow room for all three models. The reason is that strengths of all the models make up for the weakness of all the models! In doing so, we would create faith communities where we can feel connected!
One of the scariest events that I see taking place as a youth minister is to see youth walk away from their faith. I do not have the audacity or knowledge with the ultimate solution to this mass exodus, but what I do have is a broad perspective that I would like to offer. One reason why young adults become disconnected from the church is that they are disconnected. Wow, thank you Captain Obvious! No, buckle up your thinking strap and really think on that one. Young adults feel so disconnected. Here is the perspective that I am going to share: Young adults feel disconnected from faith because they read the Bible and see what faith looks like, then they look around and see that it does not jive with their church life experience.
When I used the subtitle Mission/Evangelism, I meant it. To me, mission and evangelism go hand in hand! There is something that comes alive in us when we began to participate in the movements of God. When do young adults start partaking in reaching out to others and sharing life with others their faith comes alive and guess what? They feel connected!
The revealing of the Big Secret!
So, you feel disconnected? You feel like you are alone? You feel that you do not belong somewhere? Stop looking for a connection in all the wrong things, and live out the big secret of being connected. Are you ready for it? Here it is:
The Big Secret is………THERE IS NO SECRET!
If you take initiative in these four areas spiritual connectedness, you will become connected! Just do it! No more excuses, no more putting it off, just go and be active!
Image by Wassim LOUMI
NO changes were made and this picture is used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence