John Piper answers this one with 5 examples from scripture.
‘Trying to attract us by making services cool, programs exciting, and social opportunities abundant can miscommunicate the purpose of the church. The purpose isn’t to draw those who are so attracted to the world that they want their local church to reflect it but to invite those who desire to be different to be transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.’
You don’t have to like Brendan O’Neill very much to recognise the point made clear and obvious in this one. NB: there is some bad language in it, so skip it if you are likely to be offended.
I really liked this one. Not least because it reminds me of the time when my dad’s car was stolen whilst we were in church and a more recent story of when my friend’s neighbour took his car out for a joy ride. These things have a funny way of making us love our area more.
‘If I have not used God’s word to probe my own heart – if I haven’t allowed the text to do its proper work of “teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness” – then I have not truly exegeted the text.’
‘Jesus saw who Peter would be. Or perhaps better, Jesus saw who he would make Peter to be… And so it is with you and me.’
‘If you find yourself with those who speak a second language in your midst, how can you minister to them faithfully? Are there any ways you can include them more fully in the life of the church, even if you can’t speak their language? Here are some simple suggestions.’