The post below is by Brian Russell--Prof. at Asbury Seminary. It made me think also---- do we (and I mean me) sometimes speak of our relationship with God in such grand theological terms (like the word theological) that "pre-Christians" can't even get started? Should we take greater care to express the simple truth found in John 9 when we describe our life in Jesus? "I was blind and now I can see" Should we be careful in group worship not to complicate the simple message of Jesus so that "pre-Christians" don't feel left out, confused or alienated? (Not talking about sermons as much as I am other areas.) I am not sure of the answers but I am interested in the question. Enjoy the post below. By the way I think the term "pre-Christian" is great. What optimism.
I found this church sign during my recent trip to NE Ohio. Notice the sermon title for "Father's Day": Faith as Patrimony.
This sign was at the center of a small town of less than 30,000 people. It is a "rust belt" city consisting predominantly of working class and working poor. Most of the residents have a high school education or less. When I spotted the sign, I was struck by the title. I wondered aloud how many persons passing the sign even know what the word "Patrimony" means. It means "inheritance from a father" but I had to look it up and I consider myself to have a decent vocabulary. Obviously, this would be a good topic for a Father's Day message. But who would know from the church sign.
Lesson for missional leaders: Use language that is appropriate for the people that you desire to reach. The above sermon sounds like a message that should be reserved for a Ivy League chapel or the like.
What does the above church sign convey? You need to be really smart to enter the doors of this sanctuary. If the sermon carries this title, how likely is it that the rest of the message would be understandable to a preChristian that wondered in with a parent for Father's Day?