I’ve started reading this latest book (which he gave me – thanks Jason). He’s got some strong words for churches and their attempts to serve others outside the church while wanting to be noticed for doing good.
The Church Tends to be Arrogant
The church tends to think of ourselves as the good ones now trying to help the bad ones.
Simply put, this kind of thinking is arrogant. It’s like we forget that grace both saved us and sustains us. We trusted in the gracious love given at the Cross, but now look at us. We have done so much since. We are so good and accomplished and only have a little debt left on that building, so now we can do a few good community service projects and make a difference. We have all the latest ideas and notions. Pay no mind to the fact that most of them are Christianized versions of corporate ideas and cultural norms. We put a fish symbol on them, so now they are especially good. People need us. They need us or they won’t see Jesus. (p 49)
I agree with Jason that we Christians come off really arrogant sometimes. We can get a “superior syndrome” and give token service without really giving ourselves.
The root of missional activity is to be Jesus to everyone everywhere. It’s not about being seen or noticed by others. It’s about serving and loving like Jesus. That’s what followers of Jesus do.
Dukes challenges Christians to “take the focus completely off ourselves and off what others see in us….quit thinning about others noticing us and quit thinking about others being changed by us…instead simply think about Jesus.”
He emphasizes this important lesson from Matthew 25: I need to focus less on people seeing Jesus in me and more on seeing Jesus in people.
Consider this simple prayer – “Lord, please help us not to think so highly of ourselves that we assume what the people around us need.”
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