Recently, I attended a creative arts conference in Nashville, TN. This year’s emphasis was on being unique. We are all unique and have different talents and abilities that we can use for God.
The world gets to experience God through our creative lens - through our talents and abilities. Therefore, we don’t need to duplicate what other people are doing in ministry. If God wanted replicas from Australia, England, NY, or LA here in our hometown, He would bring them to where we are. But He hasn’t. He has placed each of us in a specific location for a specific task. He has called each of us to be individually unique. We have been given a gift to influence and inspire the people around us. But somehow, many people seem to think we need to rebrand or repackage Jesus to make Him relevant. Can we somehow make Jesus more cool?
WE DON’T NEED TO REBRAND JESUS.
Remember the once popular T-shirt that said, Jesus is my Homeboy? While I do not necessarily think that it’s wrong, and I’m certainly not criticizing anyone who had one, these types of things make me cringe. Jesus is my Lord and Savior and He deserves all reverence and adoration. I personally feel that calling Him “homeboy” minimizes the vast respect and depth that Jesus actually is to me. Sure, it’s quirky and cool, just like the one that says, Jesus loves Gamers (and all the other ones that use familiar labels altered to include a biblical message). It’s true! He definitely does love Gamers and He is our friend! But some of this paraphernalia feels like an attempt to rebrand or repackage who Jesus is. We don’t have to rebrand Jesus because HE IS JESUS. The story of Jesus, the Gospel, is the greatest story ever told. It can’t be made better than it already is!
Instead of trying to remake Jesus, why don’t we work on ways we can change the method in which we share the love of Christ?
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever. – Hebrews 13:8
THE MESSAGE STAYS THE SAME.
We can’t change Him. We don’t need to! We shouldn’t try! However, WE must change to be like Him! As the world changes, our methods to reach the world have to adapt. But His message of love and His example of compassion and grace stay the same!
Think of the church of 100 years ago and the way they conducted themselves and preached. Even the hymns, which I love, are not as effective now as they were then. They are not as relevant. Jesus is relevant, but the method of preaching “hell, fire and brimstone” sermons and singing hymns is not.
WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP.
Each church, and the people drawn to serve there, has been gifted for their specific demographic. The model that works for our church, may not work for another. Therefore, we must diligently seek God’s direction to find unique and creative ways to share the love of Christ for the exact people who will walk through our doors.
It’s not wrong to look at what other churches are doing or have done, but we should spend more time asking God what He wants for our community rather than jumping on the newest resources at the Christian bookstore. We are specifically unique and creative; so we should wholeheartedly ask God how He would like to utilize us where we are!
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:10