I believe we are facing a two-pronged problem in the Christian Church. The first is that we often make things much too complicated. The second prong is that we simplify everything and so end up with absolutely no substance at all – just a lot of fluff, smoke and mirrors. In either case the Christian faith and the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom suffers and God’s people perish for lcak of knowledge and a proper vision of The Lord and His Church.
I tend to take things that can be somewhat complicated and make them simple to understand. That is what communicators do. Simple to understand but not dummied down so that the content and the challenge is taken out of the message and the Gospel literally becomes meaningless and void of power.
An example would be the way I describe the Christian faith. I beliee that to be a Christian involves:
1> Believing in Jesus
2> Belonging to His family – the Church
3> Becoming His disciple (becoming like Him)
4> Building His Kingdom
Now, that may seem simple and I meant it to be both simple and something you could remember and thus think about later. It is not complicated and yet it is not without substance. It has depth.
To believe in Jesus means more than mentally agreeing with the tenants of the Christian faith. It is not a ‘mind’ thing – it is having a heart revealtion of who Jesus is and who and what you are in light of who He is. And, then it means coming to trust in Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life and the only way to our Heavenly Father. Believving is trusting and changing one’s life accordingly.
To belong to His family means more than attending on Sunday and throwing some money in the offering basket. It means being connected to other members, forming solid and long-term relationships with other believers within the same local church, and being connected to the life of the local community of believers. It means being a giver and not just a taker…and using your gifts to benefit others who are part of the family.
To become His disciple means following Him and becoming like Him. The key emphasis here is the change in your character and the resulting changes in your lifestyle. As well, remember that Jesus said that we are to follow Him so that He could make us into fishers of men. So, becoming like Him and a disciple means we will be sharing His love for the lost and His mandate to seek and save the lost.
Building His Kingdom means being mission-minded and following the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples. In other words, expanding the Kingdom of God and the rule of the Prince of Peace (Jesus) by reproducing. After all, healthy sheep begat sheep. So, as we evangelize and go into the nations of the world we are building His Kingdom.
So, I simplified the content into an easy to remember outline – but I refuse to water down the content of the Gospel and the commitment required to be a true believer and disciple of The Lord.