Close the Front Door!

My chocolate Lab – Harley – loves to open my front door as he pleases.

I guess he’s a bright dog, at least resourceful.  But this dog can only open the door.  If left unlocked, I often get a thank you letter from our local electric company for doing our part to cool the neighborhood.

Close the front door!

Seems a bit opposite than the traditional thinking of the “growth” mentality of our churches.  Open the front door of your church and close the back door has been the strategy for decades. This typically means that the church should be more accessible and do a better job on follow-up, assimilation and discipling. But I’m beginning to think that a strategy shift is underway.

In a blog Jason Robertson wrote “The answer to the endemic weakness in our churches is closing the front door and opening the back door! Closing the front door simply in the sense of being willing to be honest about the cost of discipleship, and being more careful about conversions claimed and members accepted; and opening the back door in the sense of being willing to correct and discipline those who join.”

Mark 8:34 – “Then Jesus called the people to him. His followers were also there. Then Jesus said, “If any person wants to follow me, he must say ‘No’ to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him, and he must follow me.”

For Jesus’ true followers, the Cross is not a piece of jewelry or even a symbol; it is a lifestyle. It is the willingness to follow Jesus in every way — including the way of the Cross. For us to do that, we must surrender our selfishness and lay down our lives for the needs of others. We must have unflinching loyalty to God no matter the cost. More than just a burden to bear, “our cross to bear” is a total “buy-in” to the life, character, and way of Jesus.

It’s time that we begin share this truth with those in our churches.  If taking a stand on this truth causes more to exit than enter….

Yea….

Guess we may need to teach the old dog….

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