We’ve been looking at Christian leadership in todays culture over several posts. We looked at checking our own hearts first, understanding and leading from God’s narrative, leading with the truth of Jesus and taking care of the home front. Today I want to begin to talk about Christian leadership in a even more outward way.
We need to understand that the Christian worldview is not the worldview of the culture. In some ways of course this is not new. But we are entering a time now where western Christendom is over. Christianity is not. Not at all. But the worldview that has dominated western culture, for good or bad, has changed.
This current environment is much more apostolic than that. What this means is that we are going to have to do actual evangelization in a world that does not know or does not follow the basic truths of Christian thought.
Because of our postmodern culture that claims no absolute moral truth we must recognize that we have to share actual truth. We have to understand how deep this issue is. A recent Barna Study showed that half of millennial evangelicals think that evangelization is wrong (I’m nor sure how that is even a sentence). This is because they believe there is no absolute truth. Another Barna study shows that 74% of teens and young adults embrace moral relativism.
Now I will offer some thoughts soon on how to have conversations about this. But today I want to have us consider two very important things. The first is what I’ve been saying above. We must recognize the current culture of postmodernism and understand that it’s the norm. It’s not actually right or good, but that is the dominant belief structure.
The second, and perhaps more important, consideration is what do you believe and do you care?
Do you actually care if people come to know, trust and follow Jesus or not? Seriously.
If you think that everyone gets into heaven, that everyone gets a trophy at the end, and that the road to salvation is wide instead of narrow, then there is no reason for evangelization. Or at least there is no urgency. You’d also be wrong biblically.
Jesus says that the road is narrow. He says that He is the way, the truth and the life. He’s not A way. He is The Way. He states clearly that no one comes to the Father except through Him. He says that there will be a judgement. There will be some that get in and some that don’t. The parables are full of this. You cannot read the gospels and not get this. Not if you’re being intellectually honest about it.
Jesus commands us to evangelize. He tells us (the Church) to preach the gospel and make disciples.
Now someone might say that He tells us to love people. Yes!!! He does!!! But loving people means wanting them to get this. It certainly includes caring about people’s needs. Yes! By all means! But it also includes telling them the truth.
We should want everyone to know Jesus and follow Him. Not so that we can have a “Christian America” or whatever. That’s the wrong narrative. Instead, because there is an eternal life and an eternal damnation, if we care about someone then we should desire that everyone reach eternal life. But desiring that doesn’t mean soft selling it so that we can sleep better and be liked by everyone.
In the 1300’s Saint Catherine of Sienna had a vision from God. Or visions really. But here is the short version. God showed Catherine that there was a great chasm between humankind and God. God was on one side and us on the other. There was a river of fire that flowed between us. The river leads to eternal damnation and there is no way for us to cross this river. But then He shows her that Jesus is the bridge.
Here’s the thing: We know about the bridge. Most people do not. The question is do you care if they find out or not. And if so, how much? The degree to which you care will determine your urgency to tell them. It will determine what you will sacrifice to show them. Loving people well is a part of that. And part of loving them is telling them.
Christian leadership is not trying to get people to vote a certain way. It’s not even trying to get people to like Christianity. It’s not trying to “win” the culture war. In either direction. I’m so tired of a bunch of Christians telling people (online and otherwise) how to vote, how to view the culture, how to act or what language to use when they have told no one about Jesus and have never even attempted to make a disciple. That is not Christian leadership.
Christian leadership is following Jesus with all we have and inviting others to do the same. It is demonstrating Christ and telling people the truth. What I’m sort of saying, if I may use a sports analogy, is we need to stop playing defense and go on offense. In other words actually lead somewhere different.
I see almost none of this. I would suggest that not even 25% of Christian leaders have evangelization as a goal. That’s not going to cut it. That’s not a plan.
So I’ll ask again. What do you care about? Do you care if your neighbor, your coworker, your facebook friend, your classmate, the poor person, the rich person, the white person, the black person, or heck even if your own kid knows Jesus? We have the truth. We know where the bridge is. We have the answer. Will you share it? Or does it just not matter that much to you?