Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Am I a Christ Follower or Just a Church Member?

In a recent sermon I said something to the effect that “If someone ‘made a decision for Jesus’ when he or she was eleven, but there was no life change and the person hasn’t been in church since, we shouldn’t kid ourselves by saying that the person was a Christian who just wasn’t living it. We need to admit that the person is not a follower of Jesus and get busy praying and sharing our faith with them.”

But then God pushed me into some more thinking about the problem. What if everything I’d say was true but the person had remained in church? In other words, are there people in our churches who have conformed to the church culture but had never been transformed by God’s Spirit?

I’m afraid (terrified actually), that our churches may be full of people who have mistaken “acting like a Christian” with being a follower of Jesus. They know the lingo, are comforted by the rituals, even enjoy the music (traditional hymns or contemporary choruses), but don’t know Jesus and aren’t being transformed by God’s Spirit.

So, my next question is, what are the marks of a true follower of Jesus? How can I tell if I’m a Jesus Follower or just a church member?

I'll post my thoughts later. For now, what do you think?

1 comment:

Tim said...

I believe that for the most part, the majority of us are probably both, to one degree or another. I do not feel comfortable with the lingo and most of the time I’m leery of the ones that really speak it well. This comes from my past dealings with folks that could talk “real good”. I guess that is prejudice to some extent. I really look more at their actions.

The rituals do supply some comfort and the music is cool. Nowadays it’s the learning that is my passion (this is where you preacher guys come in). I realize that most of the learning process is my responsibility by reading and studying the Bible. However at this point, it seems like I am learning more by a sermon or group study. I’m not really sure why.

As to your next question, it may be as simple as; you must walk the walk and not just talk the talk. That sometimes gets tricky for me. I try to stay active participating in projects that encourage people to start their walk and support others who are already on the path. I love the fact that these deeds help in some ways to get more Jesus in people’s lives. At the same time I must admit some selfishness. It makes me feel really good to be able to be a part of these things. My path isn’t always straight and narrow. I make it pretty curvy and wide sometimes. To sum up, I’m not where I want to be, yet. I’d say I am a church member following Jesus and knowing the devil is only a few steps behind.

That’s my two cents, Tim