It’s nothing new that we live in a consumeristic, media-driven, fast-paced society that likes to have the newest, biggest, and coolest the moment it’s available. We’re always looking to obtain the next big thing, and I cannot help but wonder if we are doing this very thing in the way we view Christianity, the church and Jesus.
There is no such thing as “the next big thing” in Christianity. Why? Because Jesus is already here, and everything else is subsidiary. We tend to get so caught up in what’s next, that we forget the reality of Jesus standing right in front of us. We need to stop seeking for what’s next, and instead give our attention to He who is already here. We need more substance.
I’ve found myself extremely convicted over the last few months. In opening up this conviction, I have begun questioning a lot of what many would call important in the realm of church, ministry, and Christianity as a whole. Conferences, books, lights, branding, marketing, albums, etc. None of these things are bad, but when they become the foundation in which our faith is built upon, we’ve begun building a theology that is contrary to that of the Bible. Many are currently walking down this road.
The day I stepped into ministry I was taught the following:
1. You need to have great branding.
2. You need to have great marketing.
3. You need to have great music.
4. You need to be ahead of the curve.
5. Your ministry needs to be attractional.
Notice the word “need.” And while I appreciate the leaders who took time out of their schedules to pour into me, I can’t help but realize how much I disagree with much of what I was taught in my early years of ministry. None of these things are wrong, but they aren’t a need. They cannot be what my ministry is founded upon. They cannot be what your ministry is founded upon. What matters is Jesus.
I understand the zeal to always dream of something bigger, newer, and more relevant than what is currently being done. In fact, I find myself doing this quite often in my own life. But while this attribute can be viewed as a ministerial strength, it can also be detriment to ones job of preaching and teaching the true Gospel of Jesus if not monitored. Sometimes all this fluff can get in the way of what really matters.
I’ve personally apologized to God for ever using his name in order to create an event, or portray “the next big thing” over the years. My soul longs to be like Christ, and I believe through the refining fire of conviction I will find this to be true.