“If reflecting more of the color blue means becoming more like this or that charismatic church, we definitely aren’t interested. Sorry, but I’m not into all that ‘signs and wonders’ stuff.”
“We’ve had enough experiences with evangelical churches that stress the color red to know that this is not the right thing for us. Can you believe they believe that you are saved by grace alone?”
“You can only speak that naively about the green segment because you have never encountered the disastrous consequences of liberal theology; do you know what happens when there aren’t rules?”
Have you ever looked at other churches or denominations with comments like the ones above? It’s easy to spot the faults of other churches or ministries, specifically when we give them labels such as “liberal,” “evangelical,” or “charismatic.” However, when we evaluate our own church, it can be much harder to make generalized “fault statements.”
Our last blog examined the importance of a “three-color church;” that is, a church that manifests and reflects all three colors of God’s threefold revelation, continually striving to reflect Him better.
But you may be asking, “How can my church become more balanced in our reflection of all three colors?” The great part of determining our church’s color blend is that once we know where we are, we can more easily determine where we need to go. That is, once we figure out our color blend, we can focus on growing areas in which we are weaker.
However, there are barriers to growing. One of the main ones is exposure to other Christian groups that poorly reflect the ideals that God exemplifies. Many times, rather than looking at God and asking, “How can we better reflect a complete picture of Him in our churches?” we look to other human entities and see how imperfectly they are reflecting Him.
The labels of evangelical, charismatic, and liberal only serve to hold us back further from coming into alignment with reflecting God. Instead of looking to these human groups, we should, instead, “fix our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:2), focusing on His nature rather than the way other churches reflect Him.
But what do you do if your church is missing certain gifts from one of the color areas? As we’ve said before, it’s not uncommon for churches to foster a specific culture, thereby bringing in more people with the same gifts and strengths. While it is impossible for church/ministry leaders to produce spiritual gifts (only God can do that!), it is vital to create a climate in which certain gifts can grow.
As you consider your church or ministry, what color do you think is your strongest? In what area do you need to grow the most? What barriers are preventing you from taking steps toward more completely reflecting God? Food for thought . . .