I spent two days in Indianapolis at “Our Life Together” with a number of other pastors. I went there to connect with friends and colleagues. Little did I know that, in a surprising visit to the restroom, I would come face-to-face with music wars.
Following the McClendon concert, there was an intermission, in which I visited the restroom with one thing to accomplish. I did not go there to discuss theology or the weather. I did not go there to freshen up or gossip about what “she” was wearing…even though it was questionable. Others, however, had more on their mind.
As I was drying my hands…about to leave the facilities, I was blindsided with the following statement: “You’re young”…(never a good way to start a conversation)…”What is it with this music? It is horrible! That isn’t worship. I don’t even know what it is. I am not happy. And…I’ll tell the Bishop…I don’t care…I am about to retire anyway…something, something, something.” I have to admit…I stopped listening because all I could think about was an exit strategy.
I walked away…not only feeling assaulted…but concerned for the Church. Here we are, trying to figure out how to reach new people and share Jesus Christ with the unchurched. And we…as the leaders of the Church…cannot bear to see the message of Christ proclaimed in different ways.
Here is what I have learned as a leader. If we want the Church to change. If we want to reach new people for Christ (which means change…because it is not happening now)…we, as leaders, must be willing to lead the way to change.
It means we have to be uncomfortable at times in what we do, where we go, and how we proclaim the message. The main thing…must remain the main thing. Jesus Christ offers forgiveness and salvation to all people. As leaders, we cannot allow our prejudices and personal tastes in music (or anything else) to stand in the way.
There is only one way to “do” church. Are you ready for it? Here it is: Share the Good News of Jesus Christ. I don’t care how you do it! Just do it! If that means we belt out the great traditional hymns…then do it! If it means we have a heavy metal rock band…then do it!
After this encounter in the restroom…I know one thing. If I ever respond to a form of proclaiming the Good News in that way…I will retire. Because at that point…I will be a hindrance to the Gospel message.
Share the Good News of Jesus Christ! Just do it! It really is that simple.