Pop the Bubble

Without giving out too much information, prayerfully, I’m planning on including this post in a larger project that I’m slowly working on. I don’t often ask for comments, but would love your thoughts, after reading it…if you have any. 

One of the greatest blessings of living in the United States is the ease with which you can surround yourself with Christian activities and Christian communities.

Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christian school. Christian co-workers. Chick-fil-a for lunch. Family life centers (i.e. Christian gyms). Church league softball or basketball. Christian radio stations. Christian bookstores. God Tube. And then, regular church services several times a week.

You can insert yourself into a Jesus bubble, very easily. Sometimes that feeling can be awesome. You might even think that it’s cool that you don’t have to be bothered with all of those sinners.

If you think that way, you’d be wrong.

Jesus didn’t save us to live in a bubble. He didn’t command His disciples to insulate themselves from the world.

As much of a blessing as that may seem, at times, to have the Christian luxuries that exist in the US, I believe it to be one of the greatest hindrances to the cause of Christ in highly evangelized societies (like the US or Brazil).

We have Christianized everything so much that we have stopped evangelizing. For most, the extent of our evangelistic efforts is an invitation to an event on Facebook. It used to be face to face invitation, but with social media it has devolved even further into cyber-sharing and status updates.

So, what are we to do? What’s the answer?

Bubbles.

Bubbles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pop the bubble.

That’s right. Pop the bubble.

Get out of it.

Start becoming more like Jesus. Be a friend to sinners. Spend time with them. Love them. Minister to them.

Don’t preach at them. Love them.

Don’t just invite them to church. Invite them to your house for supper. Invite them to go shopping or hunting.

Play 9 holes with somebody that doesn’t go to church with you.

Engage the lost, on purpose.

I’m not talking about knocking on a stranger’s door or going out in force to demonstrate against abortion.

Those things have their place and should be done, but not at the expense of being witnesses.

I confess. I don’t really like Rick Warren‘s approach to church. I disagree with him on just about every level, but while reading the book Accidental Missionary by Steve Murrell I came across the following passage about a podcast of an interview with Warren. Murrell wrote:

The host asked Rick which evangelism program his church used to see so many people come to Christ. Rick’s response was interesting. ‘We don’t use an evangelism program. Never have in the history of our church. Never plan to. When people give their lives to Christ, we simply tell them to keep doing what they were already doing, as long as it is not sin.’

Rick went on to explain that they encourage new believers that if they played golf every Saturday, they should keep playing golf every Saturday – just not with church people….He said that if we stay engaged in our relationships and if we are half decent Christians, then it is only a matter of time until we have an opportunity to share the story of our faith journey.

Spot. On.

Pop the bubble and get out into the real world.

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  • Mom

    I couldn’t agree more. Several years ago I read the book, “Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life” by Rebecca Pippert. It was truly one of the best books I have ever read on evangelism. I regret that I have not woven more of her concepts into my daily life. Additionally, I feel the church at large with a few exceptions, has done a very poor job of training new Christians through discipleship, the very picture of Jesus’ ministry to the apostles. Though we are not of this world, we can’t be the light of the world nor the salt of the earth unless we engage with the people whom Jesus came to seek and to save, just as He did in his earthly ministry. Thank you for stimulating our thoughts about this very important issue.

    • http://cbcpm.net Michael

      Mom, maybe you can read the book that I’m finishing up when you are here visiting. It’s not that long, but is very good. I mentioned it in the post, Accidental Missionary by Steve Murrell. It deals specifically with discipleship, in a way that I have rarely seen. I would like to try to implement some things that he talks about in the book.

  • http://www.thedomesticfringe.com The Domestic Fringe

    Oh, yes! I love this and agree 100%. I’ve seen Christians so caught up in the Bubble that they don’t even know one person outside the Bubble. God didn’t call us to buy an island and start a Christian commune (of sorts). He called us to be light and salt and to lead others to Himself. It’s pretty darn hard to lead another when you don’t even know another.

    Maybe I shouldn’t say this, because it might be overstepping some boundaries, but I have friends that are completely, COMPLETELY, out of touch with the reality of the world around them, simply because they are living in the bubble. It’s like they are on another planet and their witness is really zero. It’s constant preaching to the choir.

    Yes, I’d love to hear more from you on this subject. Very needed.
    ~FringeGirl
    The Domestic Fringe recently posted..New York: Life in The Big AppleMy Profile

    • http://cbcpm.net Michael

      Thanks for the comment, FringeGirl. You certainly didn’t overstep any boundaries at all. It was a good and timely comment that I agree with 100%. It’s sad to know that some people live like that, “COMPLETELY out of touch with the reality of the world around them…”
      Michael recently posted..It’s time to engage!My Profile

  • June

    I remember the day that you asked if we, at Living Waters, had seen anyone lately in our services with tatoos, or weird body piercings….or maybe inappropriate dress….maybe even someone that smelled of tobacco, alcohol, even B.O. …or worse?…….A man whose hair was wwwaaayy too long, or a woman looking tooooooo much like a man?.Answer?…..No, not really, not lately…I had the TENSYTINYEST bit of “Godly Pride” that said, “we ….around here…know how to clean up a bit if we are going to serve God effectively and worship enthusiastically”…and I was surely glad that we had that kind of clean living testimony around there…..Then the hammar fell…….WHY? WHY does nobody visit us that do not LOOK like us…???? act like us???? live like us??? We had dropped the ball and God used you to teach that to us….Maybe it was the sword ….that CUT???? A couple of years ago one of our young people’s Dad came to church several times, obviously under conviction soon after…..Walked to the altar weepin with no proding except from the Holy Spirit….He was saved., wonderful testimony, glowing countanance, then I went out to dinner a few weeks later to eat Mexican and there he was with some of his family….drinking a Margarita….alcohol? Probably…but that just blew his testimony to me and all I could think going to the car was…”And people may see him and know he goes to Living Waters and there goes our testimony ..and my heart was pounding…..Then the calming of the Holy Ghost reminded me that a baby had to grow and learn ….He has never been in church, had no Godly parents or teacher in his childhood,knows little about what the Christian life is all about… and my heart broke as I prayed for him…I got off my self-righteousness high horse really quickly. I had really wanted to knock that drink right off that table on to the floor, but I managed a smile and a kind word and hoped that he saw Christ in me….I certainly wasn’t seeing it in HIM I thought….once more….self-righteousness…OH HOW WE NEED TO BE MORE LIKE CHRIST!!! Thanks for the encouragement, and as always…on target…..My Bro. Michael

    • http://cbcpm.net Michael

      Ms. June, one of these days I’d love to be able to sit down and talk about how different things are over here and how much my living in a new culture has changed my walk with Christ. I remember saying those things you reference, but the experience of new surroundings have given them an even much deeper meaning. Thanks for your comment.
      Michael recently posted..It’s time to engage!My Profile

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  • http://www.gospel2gijon.blogspot.com Dani Joy

    Joseph went on and on the other day about his theory about living in a bubble! I wonder if he could write it out. I think you two think alike! LoL. Gotta get together!!!

    Thank you for writing! it is so encouraging. So where we are and have come from.

    Daniela-
    Missionary wife in Gijón, Spain

    • http://cbcpm.net Michael

      Thanks for the comment, Dani Joy. We do need to get together. I’m very hopeful for this summer. You tell Joseph to write it out and we’ll put it on here as a guest post, Lord willing.

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