Ideas are everywhere. Advertisers seek to sell us the best new thing. Scientists seek for the latest discovery, hoping to add another reference to their curriculum vitae. Drug users seek the next greatest high. Always the message is, "give me something new."
Churches too have been affected, or perhaps infected, by this mentality. Seeking to fill people's next temporal whim, they continually tinker with their programming, music, and even their preaching to give the people what they claim to want. The seeker-sensitive church movement, though their formative intentions were probably right and noble, have often drifted from the message they loved at first trading the precious jewels of the gospel for trinkets from a gumball machine. Unfortunately, many of the "seekers" have realized that the trinkets these churches offer in place of the gospel are just bits of garbage sold for a quarter. Who wants that?
What was Paul's message? Always, always the gospel. Even when he spoke of other things it was with the gospel clearly in sight. He understood that the only hope for Jews and Gentiles was through the power of the cross. In 1 Corinthians 1:20-25, Paul writes, "Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
The church doesn't need something new. It needs the cross. It may seem foolish, but God is pleased to use it's message. The most successful church planter in history understood that, perhaps the rest of us should too.
Daily Reading: Matthew 14, Numbers 17, 1 Corinthians 1, 2 John, Ecclesiastes 12, Psalm 139, Proverbs 20, 1 Chronicles 21, Ezekiel 47, Romans 15