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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Living BBC

The Church is changing. It is sort of like the Oldsmobile commercial from a few years back that said “This isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile.” It was meant to communicate that the new Oldsmobile wasn’t stodgy and conservative like the one you used to know. This new Oldsmobile is attractive, fun and modern.

When it comes to the Church (big C – in particular the American Church) we are in a major shift about how people see and experience church (little c – local gatherings of Jesus followers). In many ways it can be summed up this way: Over the last 25 years there was a huge emphasis in the church on “Come and see!” Everyone was encouraged to come to a building to be taught, entertained, sung to, sung with, etc. Willowcreek Church (Bill Hybels) and Saddleback Church (Rick Warren) were the leaders of this movement that made a huge positive shift in how we do church and experience church.

The shift that is happening now is no longer “Come and see” but rather “Go and be.” There is a growing recognition that the Church is supposed to be a gathering of people being equipped to be sent out to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus to a needy world.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10, ESV)

A long time ago when I was in seminary studying to be a pastor, one of the great voices of Christianity of our time, Dr. John Stott, came and spoke at my school. I still remember the essence of his message. He challenged us to live out BBC. Dr. Stott, being from England, clarified that we weren’t to live out the British Broadcasting Corporation, rather we were to live out Balanced Biblical Christianity.

At Cold Springs Church, it is our intent to lead people toward BBC. We want to avoid the extremes in times of change like we find ourselves now, swinging wildly from “Come and see” to “Go and be.” I am convinced that BBC is about having both.

Let me remind you of the vision statement for CSCC: Growing transformed lives through experiencing the truth, presence and people of Jesus. We are deeply committed to long-term life change through faith in Jesus and we are convinced it happens when we experience truth (the Bible), presence (the Holy Spirit), and people (followers of Jesus).

Over the next few weeks I want to share with you how we see we can live out this Balanced Biblical Christianity so the vision of CSCC is fulfilled in us and through us. I will be sharing with you what it means to Invite, Give, Grow and Connect and how that has the potential to change your world!

Yes, we are in times of change. The Church has always been in a time of change as it has sought to live out the un-changing message and mission of Jesus Christ. But God doesn’t change, the Bible doesn’t change, the Gospel doesn’t change and Jesus NEVER changes. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8, ESV)

The mission of the Church and our church is to communicate this unchanging message to an ever changing world. I am committed to leading Cold Springs Church to do that the best we possibly can.



Next: What it means to be an “Inviting” person.

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