As I've traveled over the last decade and shared The Gospel through music and stories of life, it still amazes me at some of the questions I get from churches and church leaders.
Serving on staff at four different churches in that time frame, I completely understand the necessity to ensure the person you're putting on the platform aligns doctrinally, scripturally, and from the heart with your church's beliefs. That being said, I'll never understand man's desire to complicate pretty simple things.
Here are some random questions I've had asked:
- What bible do you use? We're a King-James-only church.
- Do you speak in tongues? Do you agree with speaking in tongues?
- What denomination do you most align with?
- Do you believe God still heals today?
- When you were baptized, were you sprinkled or dunked?
- How many hymns will you sing vs. those new worship songs?
- We only allow live music in our church not that pre-recorded stuff. Is that OK with you?
- What will you wear?
Whether we want to admit it or not, it's these "beliefs" that are the roadblocks keeping many people who need to hear the Greatest Story Ever Told away from the church's doors.
The more that I hear these questions - the more that I've walked this road - the more I want my heart and my life to show others the true essence of The Gospel. I want those around me to see the things that are important when it comes to the Christian faith - God's message of love, mercy, and grace and the UNCOMPLICATED and TRANSPARENT reason for the hope that exists within me.
That message is simple - it's Jesus Christ!
He is the central point of everything that we believe. He is the hub that holds all the spokes in place.
If my focus is on Him - if my life is velcroed to Christ - then as the storms of life rage around me, as Ray Boltz sang, The Anchor Holds. Sure, life is going to be tough. Life is going to kick, punch, body slam, and wrestle us to the ground. As that is happening, the world is watching to see how we respond.
Nowhere in there are they going to wonder what KJV verse am I clinging too; they're not going to wonder if my hope is found in a Fannie Crosby hymn or a Vertical Worship praise chorus; they aren't going to ask if my perseverance is rooted in some Baptist, Methodist or Pentecostal doctrine.
When Peter wrote that we should "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you...", he gave us the answer (the defense) at the start of that verse - "In your hearts, set apart Christ as LORD!"
The reason for our hope is Jesus Christ.
Call me crazy, but I firmly believe that when those that are seeking Christ answer that call, they answer because of the simple message found in The Gospel - God's light in a dark world; the hope of Christ in a hopeless world; eternal life through the gift of His son Jesus Christ in a dead and dying world.
It is that simple and that straightforward.
Let's do all we can as His Disciples to keep it that clear for those that are seeking.