Throughout the history of the Christian church the tide of thought has ebbed and flowed. In recent years the popular trend in church thought has been focused on consumerism: how to give the people what they want. The consensus is in on this philosophy of doing church, and the findings are not good. Bill Hybels, a leader in what is called the “seeker sensitive” movement and whose church thousands of other churches have modeled themselves after, did a little research on the effectiveness of their consumerism model and admitted:
“We made a mistake… What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and became Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become self feeders. We should have gotten people (and) taught people how to read their Bible between services (and) how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.”
This is a humble admittance but now that the trending thought of being “seeker sensitive” in churches is at least wounded there appears to be a new trend arising. Seeing the bankruptcy of the “me” centered church which focused on the individual, the new trend in thought reverses the thinking and focuses on Christ. Novel thought, right? This may seem surprising and a given, but the Holy Spirit is bring Christ back to the forefront of the church. The church is having an Emmaus road experience. There is a renewed recognition that the Scriptures are about Christ, not us. Just as Jesus taught the two men on the road to Emmaus, “…beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself…(not you)…in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27) This is a glorious day for the church of Christ. Our eyes are being opened anew and we are recognizing Him.
The trend to see Christ and His cross at the center of everything is a wonderful blessing, but I wonder if it is a necessary trend as well. I wonder if Christ is refocusing His church because soon the days will be darkened and we will need to focus on Him more than we ever have. I wonder if the church will be pruned and purified under persecution in the near future. Perhaps the “me” centered theology was tolerated in the same way God was longsuffering with Israel, but now Christ is pulling those who are His closer and giving us eyes to focus on Him because the chaff is about to be burned. Is Christ making Himself visible like a single star shining in the night sky anchoring our moorings as the storm clouds circle? If this is the case, align yourself with Christ while He can be seen for a day may come when it will be too late.
I was reminded of this blessing to see Christ in all of Scripture by this video: