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Friday, May 29, 2009

The Less Clutter, Less Noise Blog Tour

Today, the Grenz is participating in the Less Clutter, Less Noise Blog Tour. Kem Meyer, communications director for Granger Community Church, is answering a series of questions. Below is my Q & A with her.

We'd love for you to get in on the discussion. So ... share your thoughts about what we're discussing, and I will choose one participant in the discussion to receive a FREE copy of Kem's book Less Clutter, Less Noise. (Hey Facebook readers, if you'd like to be eligible for the free book, your comment has to be posted on The Grenz rather than Facebook, ok?)

Here is what Kem and I are talking about.


ROBB

Our church likes to be (more than) a little edgy in our sermon themes, hoping to speak the language of our culture. For instance, we preached a series on sex called Turned On. We've also themed series after movies such as Vantage Point and Transformers. Can you suggest any guiding principles for choosing themes that are very relevant but don't cross the line of being in bad taste?



KEM

Robb, there is just no foolproof answer to this. Speaking the language of our culture is always going to take us into places of uncomfortable tension because we have the burden of knowledge and desire for purity. And, like every topic under the sun, there will be liberal and conservative debates about it. But, I think it’s worth the risk and you have to find where your own personal conviction lies. It’s different for every church and maybe even different for each pastor on staff at the same church.

For example, in our church, we try to avoid dropping trucker slang because we just don’t feel it’s necessary. Although the definition of “trucker slang” varies for every single person on our staff. Shut-up to one person is as inappropriate as the f bomb to another.

We recently did a series called “Sex for Sale” and we were fine with it. No moral conflict whatsoever. A few months earlier, we chose not to do a series on forgiveness called “The other F word” because we felt it might be going too far. Ironically enough, the “Sex for Sale” series won us hate mail and phone calls from people who called us evil, corrupt and reported us to the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau. (I kid you not.)

Whether you are a pastor, church leader, or ministry servant, do not fear the wrath of what other church people think about the risks you take. Instead, fear the thought of people who will live an eternity without experiencing Christ. Sometimes, you have to lower the bar so someone can accept the invitation to a higher bar. It’s worth it. Where is that line for you? That’s between you and God. I believe he uses all of us in different places to reach different people. You maintain your confidence and keep pushing the edge. I’ll pray along with you for divine intervention and wisdom.



Curious what other questions Kem is answering? Read more of the Less Clutter, Less Noise Blog Tour at her blog, Less Clutter, Less Noise.

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6 comments:

corexian said...

I really like this and feel like it represents the situation well: "Speaking the language of our culture is always going to take us into places of uncomfortable tension because we have the burden of knowledge and desire for purity."

Sara said...

"Whether you are a pastor, church leader, or ministry servant, do not fear the wrath of what other church people think about the risks you take. Instead, fear the thought of people who will live an eternity without experiencing Christ. "

I think this statement is very true. I don't think that anyone in ministry should fear what other people will think, church and un-churched a like. I do think though that we should do what would be pleasing to God though. But like she said, what that looks like can and does tend to differ from person to person.

Also, I don't really like the following statement...

"Sometimes, you have to lower the bar so someone can accept the invitation to a higher bar."

I do think that legalistic churches have played a major role in people not wanting to come to Christ because they don't want to be like the people in those churches. However, I think it's wrong when we say that it's the way that we are doing church that is keeping people from Christ. It isn't church that turns a heart away from God..it's really sin in that persons heart. It's our already defiant nature to be against God, and I think people use excecuses like legalistic churches or by saying church is boring or irrelevant to stay where they are. I think it may be more accurate to say that it is really church keeping people away from church. Because ultimately if God wants someone to get saved he will and does save them even if the church isn't doing what they should be doing.

In summary I think christians in churches should strive to be more like christ in every aspect of their lives including how they run their churches...but sin ultimately holds people from Christ...and churches often hold people away from true spiritual growth.

Sara said...

and I just realized that what I just said probably really has nothing to do with the question asked but for some reason these were the thoughts that came to mind... so I apolagize if i really just posted needless noise.

StepUpToTheCall said...

Then again Jesus sure felt some tension going to Matthew's party, hanging out with tax collectors, making more wine at the wedding feast, and anywhere else he interfaced with culture.

There's a difference between coming up with something edgy for the sake of being provocative and flashy, and simply choosing not to shy away from something on the edge because that's what is on the mind of your culture. I would have no reservations in the latter case, but would be careful to watch my motivation for the former. In any case, keep on being creative in reaching your community for Christ!!

Robb said...

Daniel,

Why does that resonate with you?

R

ANNIE COPPOCK said...

I regret that missed the "Turned On" series!

I DO like the line about lowering the bar to offer an invitation to a higher bar. Live's messy. Lessons are messy. Higher things come out of it!

Keep up the good work Robb!