I wonder why…
I wonder why some missionaries are still trying to replicate their home culture in the countries they are working in. I thought we had learned that cultural imperialism was not the way to extend the kingdom of God. Why do some denominations still land in a new country with the aim of building a copy of their home organisation instead of planting culturally appropriate churches? I have always preferred to listen to and work with indigenous churches in Cambodia and Myanmar rather than set up my own empire. How would Jesus do mission?
I wonder why Christians are so keen on criticising and judging others while seeking to justify or ignore their own failings. How would Jesus relate to the ‘tax gatherers and sinners’ of today? How would He deal with Christians who have made mistakes or fallen into sin?
I wonder why church politics are such a hindrance to the work of the kingdom. Why is there so much jostling for power and position in the church? Why is the ‘I did it my way’ attitude so prevalent? How would Jesus run your church?
I wonder why church meetings can so easily degenerate into a performance. Where are the servant worship leaders and musicians whose only desire is to lead us into the presence of God? How would Jesus help us to worship His Father?
Philippians 2: 7 (NKJV) tells us that Jesus ‘made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant’. He left the glory of heaven; as a newborn baby He was placed in an animal’s feeding trough; as an adult on the road He had ‘nowhere to lay His head’; He had to accept the hospitality and generosity of others; He ‘did not come to be served, but to serve’; He submitted to a mistrial, a brutal flogging and the curse of death on a cross.
Because Jesus lived and died in this way, all our sins, past, present and future, and all the sins of others whom we so easily condemn, have been forgiven.
Philippians 2: 5 (NKJV) instructs us, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’, or (NLT) ‘Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.
How would Jesus do mission? Humbly, with grace towards the people he came to serve and save.
How would Jesus relate to the ‘tax gatherers and sinners’ of today? The same way as He did to the tax gatherers and sinners whose company He enjoyed in first-century Galilee and Judaea: with love, forgiveness and acceptance.
How would Jesus run your church? As a servant-leader, a gracious, patient pastor and teacher, whose chief desire is for the spiritual health and maturity of His brothers and sisters.
How would Jesus help us to worship His Father? He would turn our eyes away from ourselves, the band, the singers, and help us to give our all in focused adoration.
Which is more important to you and to me: our reputation? Or the glory of God?