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MONDAY SCHOOL: “Radical”

This past Sunday, my church began a series based on the book Radical : Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream from David Platt.  I’ve been reading this book for the past week and have struggled with it and grown from it at the same time.  The book deals with how we have stripped away the Bible and turned it into a mere “fluffy” version that only appears to condemn those who have not accepted Christ’s gift of salvation while being laxed on things that might condemn us.  One important aspect that I took away from our pastor’s sermon has huge implications on us as worship leaders and worship pastors:

How many times have you not known what to say…so you babble?  You know what I mean…you’re praying or just speaking in transition between songs and you knew what you were going to say but the words don’t quite seem to surface.  What happens? You go off in a world of pre-scripted cliches.

“And we love you, God because you are a God of love and peace – not hate and war.”

Isn’t it a pleasant thought?  We can all now put flowers in our hair and hold hands in a circle while singing the next song, right?  The sad revelation is that this vision of God…is slightly inaccurate – and we are the ones who made it that way.

Matthew 10:34-39 ESV

34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.  37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

That’s a bit different from the whole “You’re a God of peace”, isn’t it?  The reality of the verse sank in with me as I realized that I have, personally, gotten too comfortable with cliches.  I have a desire after this past week to tear into as much of the Bible as I can to see what I’ve missed…and how I can better be used as a lead worshiper for His kingdom – and to go beyond just my church to reach the lost.

Would you do me a favor this week?  Would you take a personal inventory of things you say from the pulpit each week?  Things that are cliches….things that you may even think are scripture…and write them down.  Then, do a self check and see if what we are saying as cliche actually matches the Bible and, if not, get rid of the cliches.

2.  Would you consider buying two copies of Radical – one for yourself and one for your pastor?  I can personally assure you…its going to make some changes.  Its going to prune back some hedges in the vineyard…but, above all….it is going to help you reach more lost.

(Editor’s Note: Monday School is based off of things I garner from the Sunday sermons at LifePoint Church in Smyrna, Tennessee. While my post may be stimulated by the sermon, the words I express should not be taken as a reflection of or commentary of LifePoint Church, Pat Hood, or The Sending Church. I do, however, use the opportunity to invite you to join us at a truly amazing church each Sunday. Visit LifePoint at www.lifepointchurch.org for more details.)