A few posts ago, I alluded to a mailer I received that provided a pretty good example of a “fringe building” church rather than a “core building” church.
Note that I have never attended this church nor do I know anything about it or their leadership…I’ve only received the mailer. Therefore, the only comments I intend to make are about the mailer and the audience it is obviously designed to reach.
Here are some observations:
About Zero Church
- “Most churches are okay, but we think…”. In other words, if you are unhappy with the church you are currently attending, then come to zero church. Is this church reaching out to unbelievers or to people who already have a church home but are hoping to find a church that is more entertaining?
- “We have a talk, but no preaching.” Can you imagine the apostle Paul or any hero of the faith telling it’s audience, “hey, i’m not here to preach…let’s just have a talk.” God calls us to teach His Word…why are we ashamed of that?
- “We have an offering, but not for us…” Does this mean that 100% of what people give to zero church goes to the poor and oppressed? If that’s true, wonderful! But, I wonder where the money comes from to pay salaries, rent space, buy office supplies, etc?
- “We have a band, but not much worship music”. If it’s not worship music, then what is the purpose of the music? Entertainment is all I can think of.
The good thing about how this series is described is that at least the word “biblical” is included. These topics are wonderful for a Christian counseling session. And, believe me, I’m all for Christians helping other Christians “learn how to say no”. But, the mission of the church is to make disciples, right? How do these topics help us make disciples? How do they call people to Christ? Again, my point is not about style of worship/preaching…it’s about what the style is producing. Series like this educate people on how to live their lives in a western materialistic culture, but they do not educate people as to their sin condition, God’s grace, genuine faith in Christ, and the ultimate importance of obedience. People become better parents, spouses, friends, and co-workers not primarily by studying how to become a better parent, spouse, friend or co-worker…they do it primarily by learning God’s word, believing is, and obeying it.
At the end of the day, I just don’t understand why churches feel like they cannot be proud of the God we serve and that somehow God is pleased when we hide Him for the sake of “building His kingdom”. My belief is that God does indeed save people in churches like these, but he does it despite faithless methods and not because of them. The natural fruit of churches like these is ‘fringe’ which, as I have argued, is actually hurting the Church not building it.
We ought to be going out into the world, sharing the good news of Christ, and serving them in His name; we should not be not pulling the lost into our communities and calling them part of the Church when God has not made them part of the Church.
I understand my stance is probably not very popular. My intent is not to be unpopular…just aligned with the God we serve as best I can be. I’d love to hear your thoughts and observations.