Who Do You Think You Are?

identity_crisis_by_sebreg-d4952z51I have no use for church critics who point and complain but refuse to be part of the solution (much less admit to being part of the problem!).   However, there is definitely a time for us to honestly evaluate how we are doing being salt and light to our community.  When I hear negative reports on the church, such as the information from the book UnChristian I quoted this morning, I find myself wanting to defend the church.  There is much good being done through organized ministries of the church that are helping people with real needs.  In addition, there are countless ways that individual members of the church are letting their light shine that often goes unreported and thus, unapplauded.  (And those folks like it that way!)

There is certainly room for improvement and my prayer is that this morning’s sermon might help us build on what the Lord is already doing among us.  I love the work we are doing among homeless children through Family Promise, may we keep it up!  I am so thankful for those who volunteer each month to minister to the often forgotten residents of Harborview Nursing Home.  Just last week a number of our church provided food for several hundred people who gather to worship with the Impact Church which ministers to the poor of inner city Houston.  These and other ministries of the church are allowing the light of Jesus to shine and people are seeing our good works and praising our father in heaven.

What is the next step?  As we launch Story Groups next Sunday I pray each group will become small communities devoted to encouraging, refining, and equipping us as individuals to be salt and light in our families, places of employment, schools, and neighborhoods.  We, collectively, are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  May we work together to help one another be a greater reflection of Jesus to all we encounter.  We overcome the negative images many have of the church, one individual at a time.  Let them see Jesus living in you and those unfavorable stereotypes will fall by the wayside.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

6 Responses to “Who Do You Think You Are?”

  1. avatar Adam says:

    Great sermon Byron! What better context to talk about outsiders’ view of Christians than at church? Thank you for the good message going into this week.

  2. avatar Stephen Carman says:

    Thank you for pointing out the distinction between the plural and singular in this text. Good reminder for our independent mindset that we are in a community of faith (together) but have a single mission–a mission that belongs to the creator, in which we have been invited to participate.

    I remember reading “UnChristian” a couple of years ago. The quote that caught my attention was “transformation is a process, a journey, not a one-time decision” (p. 82). As christians and communities of faith, we should always remember Paul’s encouragement that “our lives [are] gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him” (2 Cor. 3:18, MSG).

    Another book, not for the faint of heart, is Julia Duin’s “Quitting Church: Why the Faithful Are Fleeing and What to Do about It.” One quote that I believe should be an encouragement to many churches seeking a more simple approach to how they “do church” is “we are seeking … a return to a faith that is authentic, relevant, and applicable” (pp. 19-20).

    Being partial, lately, to the Message, I love the rendering:

    “You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth” and “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.”

  3. avatar Steve Green says:

    Hello;
    My wife Terrie and I made our second visit last Sunday at Clear Lake. When I read the sermon title I got really excited. I just love the TV show under the same name and while attempting to relax and take in a sermon and new surroundings I was a little disappointed you didn’t take off with ancient ancestry linage like the TV show!
    Today I got the phone app and listened to the current sermon series we missed and see how the title goes along with the message well.
    Next thing you quote “UnChristian” a book I have read and can recommend to anyone. I meant to introduce us after the message but the line was long. So I look forward to next time when I can personally tell you how the content of this study seemed so relevant to me.
    We hope to again visit soon. God Bless

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