What's My Reputation?

I was sitting at Starbucks today working on my sermon while I enjoyed some high-octane coffee. When I first got there and was trying to get settled in, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between three ladies. t first, I was encouraged because two of the ladies were telling the third about their church. ‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘this is great!’

But then the conversation took a sad turn. The two ladies were explaining why they liked going to their church and I heard things like . . .“The pastor doesn’t read from the Bible very much . . . When he does read, he explains what it could mean . . . the Bible might mean this, or it could mean this, or it might mean this other thing . . . they have groups for all kinds of people.”

What began as an encouraging moment soon became depressing. Here was a church that was drawing people but for all the wrong reasons. It seemed the pastor didn’t actually teach much about the Bible but somehow kept people feeling good about themselves. To be fair, I only heard a small snippet of the conversation and not a lot about the church. It could be much better than what was being talked about.

At the same time, I thought the conversation was telling. And I began wondering what the people of my own congregation say when they talk about our church with other people.  First, do they even invite people? If they do, are they excited about the church? Are they better knowing God from the Scriptures? Is Christ being glorified week after week?

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.  For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Cor 2:1-5)

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