Removing Religious Barriers to Allow Growth & Impact
Religion can be toxic. It breeds sacred cows that weaken and sometimes completely paralyzes the mission of the gospel. The toxicity of religion infects people with self righteousness that results in church rules that aren't biblical. These kind of churches are inward focused, protective of their traditions and resist change. They rarely see new people meet Jesus; actually they rarely see new people. Religious traditions often morph into rules that prevent people from having an experience with Jesus. Here’s just a few examples.
- You can’t serve or get involved in church until you become a church member
- You have to behave before you believe
- Women are not allowed to serve in leadership
- You must be baptized into a particular denomination by a pastor
- You must wear your best clothes to church to honor God
- You can’t have an experience with God unless you’re in a church building
- You have to fix all the broken things in your life before becoming a Christian
- You can no longer have fun
- Value vision over tradition
- Engage people with relationship, not religion
- Tie everything to the gospel
- Does our church have tradition(s) that could be confusing for someone who has never been to church before?
- How much Christianese (religious language) is used on Sunday? Would a guest understand what is being said?
- What does your first impressions strategy look like? If it makes Christians feel really comfortable, it's probably the wrong strategy.
- When's the last time you saw someone come to faith in Jesus? If it's been a while, what must change?