What do we want to do when we want to learn about a church? Well, typically, we read their websites and maybe listen to a sermon or two. This is definitely helpful. However, I’d like to suggest another option: listen to members talk. Go ahead, engage in conversation with members, listen to discussions in the hallway, read some of the folks’ social media posts, etc. What do they say?
It is one thing to confess truth and quite another to believe it. When the truth of the gospel gets in us we have to talk about it. It overflows. Paul highlighted this in Colossians 3:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:16)
When the word of Christ dwells in a believer richly it comes out. We breath in the word and we exhale it. It comes out in what we say. Borrowing the same idea from Jesus, out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Mt. 12.34).
Twenty years ago Seinfeld dominated televisions on Thursday nights. “Must See TV” was a show “about nothing.” The characters regularly reset their counterintuitive vision to captivate audiences with trivial and sarcastic banter. With the help of some extremely gifted writers, we laughed at Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine as they majored on the mundane.
We should never be “The Church about nothing.” The Seinfeld church is a judgment upon the church. The word of Christ is to dwell within us and then come out of us in our conversations with one another. Therefore, we can’t be about nothing.
It is vitally important for the church to confess, sing, and preach the truth. However, this truth has got to captivate the minds and hearts of the church family. When we listen to the conversations or take stock of our own words, we can see the gap.
May God grant that we not be “The Church About Nothing” but rather the church that is daily laboring to speak the truth to one another in love (Eph. 4:15).
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Heb. 3:13)
(This is taken from a sermon preached at Emmaus Bible Church entitled The Heart of Faithfulness from Hebrews 3:7-19. Audio & manuscript here.)