As Christians reborn in the image of God, WHOM are we called to become like? JESUS!
WHAT is the greatest commandment? What are we called to BE about as the people of God? “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. What are we to do as Christians? Love God and love neighbor.
EVERY Christian is called and empowered to grow into the LIKENESS of Jesus and therefore LOVE God completely and neighbors intensely…!
The graph above (courtesy of SEEDBED and Barna research) shows us a MAJOR problem in the American Church—only 1% of American Christians actually love the way we are commanded to, and only 11% of American Christians are growing in the Likeness of Christ Jesus. A whopping 89% of American Church goers are stuck in a place of doing church rather than being the Church. As J.D. Walt from Seedbed shares, the gospel seems to hit the wall and comes to a crashing halt just after the sinner’s prayer and potluck suppers. OUCH!
Again, quoting Walt, we’ve learned to grow churches without growing people.
Actually, we aren’t even good at growing churches anymore. People are less and less satisfied with potlucks, activities and programs, so the Church overall in the U.S. is shrinking…rapidly.
Another problem. Not many church people really want to become the 11%. “Holy discontent” sounds a lot less fun than a church softball league. Being “broken by God”—though it is the place of true freedom—is a lot less appealing than… just leaving.
Who’s likeness must we grow in to? JESUS! What do we become? LOVERS—of God and neighbor.
AWAKENING looks like the Church as a whole moving toward looking like Jesus and loving like Him, too. When 11% becomes 50% or 80%, then we are Awakened!
AWAKENING looks like grown-up disciples growing new disciples—not a club pampering people to make them comfortable…
Again, we have had way too much church growth technique in the U.S. Church at the expense of equipping church folks to actually grow up as Christians!
Our congregation is committed to being a place that encourages people to grow into Jesus’ Likeness, and to Love God and Neighbor with Jesus’ purity and passion.
How do we grow into His likeness? How do we truly love God and Neighbor? Word. Worship. Life Groups. Daily time spent in His presence. Weekly times of accountability and vulnerability in a Life Group. Coming on Sundays ready to truly experience and hear God.
Awaken us Lord, to awaken the world!