I recommend that you begin at the beginning of this four-part series. It’s not long, and won’t take you much time at all to get the whole point I’m trying to make…
In the history of spiritual awakenings, though I claim no “expertise” on the matter, people have typically made concerted efforts to overanalyze the move of the Spirit and concoct strategies to perpetuate the revivals. Trying to prolong a sovereign move of God that we had no hand in initiating to begin with is like pasting flowers on a dying rose bush. When amateurs become experts it’s only a matter of time till the revival that is, becomes known as the revival that was.
It takes the breath of the Spirit right out of our sails when we organize and upgrade what God was doing quite nicely without our assistance. Not to downgrade all upgrades, but it’s been my experience that product improvements usually don’t actually improve the product. I wonder if we left revivals alone – so to speak – and didn’t try to improve them with better buildings, budgets, bureaucracies and glossier presentations that they might last a little longer? (Again, I’m no revival “expert,” myself – just an amateur observer.)
It’s my opinion that professionalism has not proven to be an effective way to please God or communicate Christ to our culture. I think it’s a modern church world blunder to try to impress people into our ranks. Paul didn’t seem to mind too much being recognized as the “scum of the earth” so why should we hope to be known for our impressive productions, properties, and institutions? Maybe we think that if we “fit in” better, if we staged a more impressive performance in our worship music, our oratory, programs, and productions that pre-christians will want to be just like us – who are just like them, except with a spiritual veneer.
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Finally, the drum I beat is for neither an “amateurish” Christianity nor an intentionally poor presentation of our magnificent Jesus. Sloppy isn’t synonymous with spiritual. Neither do I advocate a perpetual spiritual immaturity. There is nothing inherently virtuous in incompetence or ignorance. We’re not experts, but that doesn’t mean we shoot for clueless. He told us to be childlike, not childish.
Profession Christians? No. Perhaps we should aim to be “Mature Amateurs” who live and serve the way we do for the love of God!
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