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Is Your Church Service Confusing People?
Episode 39013th June 2022 • Everyday Disciple Podcast • Caesar Kalinowski
00:00:00 00:35:14

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Have you ever wondered what your average person–someone who has not grown up in the church–would think Jesus and the gospel are all about based on what they see, hear, and experience in your Sunday church service? In this episode of the Everyday Disciple Podcast, we’ll talk about how the medium we often use on Sundays may be overshadowing the message we really want to share about Jesus, our Father, and his amazing kingdom. In This Episode You’ll Learn:
  • What some of our favorite activities at church are really saying to people.
  • How close and yet so far off we can accidentally be in these things.
  • Why our ‘good intentions’ are not cutting it with the culture anymore.
  • How much of what we do in our Sunday services are really confusing to people.
Get started here... From this episode: "Assigned greeters, rowed seating, staging, lights and sound are all awesome...for a rock concert. But they may not be helping to show people what our heavenly Dad, his Son, and this life as Christians is really all about. A special few people who do most of the communication with little to no personal interaction or participation is NOT what the early church was experiencing together."
Each week the Big 3 will give you immediate action steps to get you started.
Download today’s BIG 3 right now. Read and think over them again later. You might even want to share them with others…

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Join us on Facebook and take part in the discussion! If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of this page or right below. Also, please subscribe and leave an honest review for The Everyday Disciple Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.   Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: Free Download of the Big 3 For Episode #390 Coaching with Caesar and Tina in discipleship and missional living. Missio Publishing Get Caesar’s latest book: Bigger Gospel for FREE… Click Here Join us on Facebook

Transcripts

Caesar:

If it was just one more killer church service and sermon that we needed, the whole world had been saved long ago.

Caesar:

Cause cuz I'll tell you had tons of yeah there's man.

Caesar:

There's a lot of churches that are doing really good.

Caesar:

Like man, their bands are crushing it and they're staging and lighting.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

And preaching.

Caesar:

Oh, there's so much good preaching.

Caesar:

Yep.

Caesar:

And I I'm actually, I'm not actually against all that.

Caesar:

What I'm advocating for is.

Caesar:

Is there need, is it time to start to, to kind of check the medium a little bit and go, have we slipped into things and trying to compete with the world thinking that's what'll do it.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

That's what'll get 'em if we can like win at their game instead of saying no, no, no.

Caesar:

We were given this most beautiful thing of being the family of God.

Caesar:

Yep.

Caesar:

And sharing our things and living generously and having God's favor upon our lives.

Caesar:

Hm.

Caesar:

And watching how people are super attracted, that that's never gonna change and go away, but we've somehow decided to know we can do a better job by competing with entertainment and all that.

Caesar:

And it's not that cuz people don't want to go to church or they wanna be a part of the church.

Caesar:

They wanna be a part of a family.

Heath:

Welcome to the Everyday Disciple Podcast where you'll learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of life.

Heath:

In other words, discipleship as a lifestyle, this is the stuff your parents, pastors, and seminary professors probably forgot to tell you.

Heath:

And now here's your host Caesar.

Heath:

Kalinowski.

Caesar:

Hey, good to be with you again.

Caesar:

I sure hope you're enjoying this podcast as much as I love doing it for y'all it's the best I look forward to it every week.

Caesar:

I really do.

Caesar:

That's why we've been doing it for over five years.

Caesar:

Haven't missed a Monday yet.

Caesar:

Hey, and here's a heads up reminder.

Caesar:

Did you listen to the episode?

Caesar:

A few episodes back on being a good neighbor this summer, and really getting set up to make this summer a great time.

Caesar:

for mission and Disciple.

Caesar:

If you didn't go back and hear that just a few episodes back now, if you did hear it, did you put some of those ideas into motion?

Caesar:

I hope so.

Caesar:

Things are heating up and you've got a great opportunity right now.

Caesar:

And you know what else you've got a great opportunity to do.

Caesar:

And that's share this podcast.

Caesar:

Would you just take a moment right now and text somebody or post it on your Facebook or your Instagram and just share the podcast either the episode that you're listening to, or one that really affected you, maybe put it in your church, Facebook group or share it out, put it in the.

Caesar:

Sunday flyer or whatever you use there, but that's how people can learn about this and we can share the love.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Would you mind doing that?

Caesar:

And also, I wanna just thank our sponsor Missio publishing and invite you to check out their resources as you start thinking of the year ahead and what your groups, your small groups, your Missional Community are gonna do.

Caesar:

You'll definitely want to go over to Missio publishing.com, check out the resources they offer.

Caesar:

Either for your own heart to get ready and maybe for leadership or even some of the primers or different tools you can use in community together.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Now I wanna get to our topic today, Heath and I had a great discussion about how people perceive what our Gospel is based on how it's presented and especially as it has to do with our Sunday morning service.

Caesar:

Have you ever wondered what your average person, maybe someone who's not grown up in the church, but they roll into a Sunday service, you know, Sunday morning, what would they think?

Caesar:

Jesus and the gospel's all about based on what they see hear in experience.

Caesar:

There's all kinds of cues and different things going on.

Caesar:

What would your friends think that Jesus is all about?

Caesar:

If they visited just your Sunday church service is the way you're often doing church, really communicating what you think it is now.

Caesar:

Please, please, please do not think that just because we're critiquing the medium here a little bit, that we're anti-church services or gathering together as a large family.

Caesar:

That's not true at.

Caesar:

But I do think that it's a very real possibility that the way we put on many of our gatherings may be confusing people or misleading them without us knowing it, listen in now as Heath and I talk about all of this.

Caesar:

If someone just like kinda walked into your church.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

First time, like they just out of the blue and they're like, man, I gotta find, I gotta know God and I, I gotta get something sorted out in my life and stuff everything's wrong and screwed up or I'm ruining my life.

Caesar:

It's like, what are they gonna think?

Caesar:

We're about,

Heath:

that's a good question.

Heath:

Right.

Heath:

And to cards on the table and most listeners know like, uh, You're not currently working in a church, you have had history working in large churches.

Heath:

I'm currently working at a large church in the area.

Heath:

And so we know

Caesar:

I still sit in plenty of church services.

Caesar:

Yeah, absolutely.

Caesar:

Part of the church, right.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

But yeah, I'm not leading one.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Used to work at a megachurch.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

As part of the whole production staff and team.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

That's interesting where I learned a lot.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

That was

Heath:

so do you think that the way.

Heath:

That we're currently doing church or the way that we often do church really communicates what we think it is communicating, especially to visitors or folks just wanting to kind of check things out.

Caesar:

Well, I don't think it is.

Caesar:

I, I mean, I think we'd be surprised.

Caesar:

I think if we were to.

Caesar:

Just, you know, exit poll, you know, or exit interview, like what's going on there?

Caesar:

Let me, I'm gonna, let me go, let me go into some detail of some things.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Let do a little psychology behind some of how we perceive things and how we perceive communication and all that sure is there's a question I wanna ask is the form in which we receive a message.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

As important as the message itself.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Makes sense.

Caesar:

Yep.

Caesar:

In other words, if going to church and all kinds of different services and different denominations and different traditions, if that's all just like preference, you know, and historical stuff and traditional.

Caesar:

Back to the question is the form, though, in which we receive a message as important as the message itself.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

So there is this guy, philosopher, author, Marshall McCluen, and he argued that throughout history.

Caesar:

What has been communicated is at times less important than the specific medium.

Caesar:

Through which we communicate that message.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Now I'm probably tipping my hand to folks listening today.

Caesar:

So the technology, the choices and methods that transfer, or, you know, transmit the message changes us.

Caesar:

Hm.

Caesar:

And it changes culture and it changes those who receive it.

Caesar:

And even more so as someone, like I said, Who I used to work for and help lead, you know, large tractional church.

Caesar:

And I was head of their production for their Sunday services.

Caesar:

This maximum, the McCluen proposes.

Caesar:

It's always intrigued me, huh.

Caesar:

And in my gut.

Caesar:

I think he's absolutely correct.

Caesar:

The medium is very much, if not more.

Caesar:

So the message.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

And, and some of our listeners might have heard that the medium is the message.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

I really think the guy's onto it.

Caesar:

I think he's right.

Caesar:

The medium is very much, if not more.

Caesar:

So the message and I've often wondered what your average person.

Caesar:

Uh, or someone who's not grown up in the church where they kind of can do a little bit of filtering and a little bit of translation.

Caesar:

Mm-hmm they roll into a service on Sunday morning?

Caesar:

What would they think that Jesus and the Gospel is all about based on what they see and they hear, and they experience meaning the medium.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Like what would they think based on what they see here and experience?

Caesar:

Hmm,

Heath:

man, that is really fascinating.

Heath:

So, uh, let's talk for the people that are maybe having a hard time right now, grasping some of this, right.

Heath:

Maybe we can talk through some practical and familiar practices that we do and how it might be actually communicating a mixed message.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Um, so this is a bit of a caricature, but not so much.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

So think about it from, from a person's perspective, they're walking into.

Caesar:

I'm gonna say your average church service.

Caesar:

And I know there's a lot of differences.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

But what we've all grown up in and what most churches aspire to pretty similar stuff.

Caesar:

Right?

Caesar:

So you walk in, you're greeted by a person they're usually wearing a special badge of some sort.

Caesar:

They hand you a program.

Caesar:

They direct you to your seat.

Caesar:

Mm-hmm think about a badge program, direction, . What does that medium communicate?

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Then once you're seated, the service begin.

Caesar:

Lights camera action.

Caesar:

Right?

Caesar:

The band kicks it in and MC of some sort, kind of tells us what we're gonna experience today.

Caesar:

And we're led through three or four songs.

Caesar:

And most people would not know from their normal life.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

You know, it's not like, wow, that's that new U2 song or that's that new, you know, Coldplay, you know, so they're gonna, they're gonna be led, led through some songs with words on a screen.

Caesar:

That's not, you know, like you do in all of life.

Caesar:

never right.

Caesar:

You know, I mean, and by a professional band, Hmm, look, you know, on microphones and you're using amplifiers all pretty polished up.

Caesar:

You can tell it's very rehearsed.

Caesar:

It's all well lit.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

And so is Christianity a well crafted and timed out production?

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Is Jesus gonna walk out on stage soon?

Caesar:

That'd be cool.

Caesar:

Yeah, like maybe this is all because he's showing up, you know, in the flesh.

Caesar:

Well, not Jesus himself.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Whoops.

Caesar:

I wish . But someone special comes out and they then talk for like 30 to 45 or 60 minutes.

Caesar:

And this is, if I'm just like watching, I'm going, this must be an important person.

Caesar:

You know, the light is shining right on him from the balcony the entire time.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

And this is apparently pretty important stuff he's talking about because everyone in the room is sitting silence.

Caesar:

Listen.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And, and a lot of 'em are just cranking out the notes.

Caesar:

They're just taking copious notes.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

So few more songs at the end, some announcements about programs you can sign up for usually a nominal cost is associated with some of those.

Caesar:

Um, and then an opportunity to give your money to those who are putting on the production.

Caesar:

And they tell the guests not to worry about this part, but you know, this whole thing has got to be pretty expensive.

Caesar:

You're thinking to pull it off every week.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

Wait a minute.

Caesar:

Some of these churches run this thing multiple times every weekend, they must be tired.

Caesar:

These people, these poor people run this, are they all getting paid?

Caesar:

And, and now that it's over, pretty much everyone else sitting in the seats with us, they just rush out the door, back to their cars and normal lives, I guess.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Now, like I said, that's a bit of a caricature.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

But unfortunately it's pretty accurate in most cases.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Would you say absolutely.

Caesar:

Uh, right.

Caesar:

So think about it.

Caesar:

The medium.

Caesar:

Here's the medium.

Caesar:

In other words, like what did, what was used to get across this amazing message of Christ assigned greeters programs, road seating, staging props, lighting, sound, a few special people doing most of the communication, little to no personal interaction or participation.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

So then what's the message that might be being received there.

Caesar:

Jesus, the church and Christianity must be a rehearsed production that is crafted by a few to show the many how to live or what to think, or it, maybe it's not even that far it's, it's just somewhat cheesy entertainment or something.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

You're our guest and there's no obligation.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

Super welcoming, like that way.

Caesar:

and when I contrast that to what I read.

Caesar:

The original followers of Jesus in the early church.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

I gotta be honest.

Caesar:

I'm pretty Aw.

Caesar:

Struck by the contrast bro.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

It, yeah.

Heath:

So how do our churches look different than the way Jesus was doing things and even acts and I

Caesar:

mean, am I going too far here or what I described there is that pretty accurate?

Heath:

Yeah, I think you're absolutely,

Caesar:

you know, I mean, either up, up at a few steps or, you know, downgraded a few steps as far as production value, but

Heath:

yeah.

Heath:

And that's, I think one of my issues with like, it doesn't feel very local as well.

Heath:

Like you.

Heath:

You know, all most churches are singing the same songs.

Heath:

They're all getting their artwork from the same website done in California.

Heath:

And I mean, I could be in Chicago or Florida or Alaska or Toronto or Southern California and not know any difference, cuz there's no uniqueness to the, to the feel, you know,

Caesar:

there, again, coming back to that snap line that that sort of level of is the medium the message and the ways we're communicating, and, and all of that, even if it's like, we go, well, that is.

Caesar:

that's kind of how it is.

Caesar:

And I don't know if that's how people perceive it.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

But like, what you just asked is really important, Heath, like let's compare and contrast it to like, what was the early church's medium?

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Cause let's just say we have the same message or we want to have the same message, right?

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

So acts two versus, uh, 42 to 47.

Caesar:

Say this.

Caesar:

So, this is how we, this little picture of what the early church was doing.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

So this is their medium.

Caesar:

Uh, they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship that means hanging out together.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Um, to the breaking of bread.

Caesar:

So having meals and praying.

Caesar:

Everyone was filled with odd, the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles and all the believers were together and they had everything in common.

Caesar:

They sold the properties and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

And every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.

Caesar:

Which was kinda like at the mall or outside of store or, you know, where they did their daily business.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

They broke bread in homes.

Caesar:

Meaning had, they had meals in homes and they ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.

Caesar:

In words, people didn't think they were jerks Hmm.

Caesar:

For living this way, generously sharing meals.

Caesar:

They weren't hated for that or excluded.

Caesar:

And the Lord added to their number daily, those who were being saved.

Caesar:

So what was the medium there in acts homes?

Caesar:

Daily meals, serving others, praying, learning together, miraculous signs and healings, and then organic growth,

Caesar:

growth.

Heath:

Yeah.

Heath:

Having everything in common.

Heath:

Yeah.

Heath:

Selling property to give to those who had

Heath:

to fulfill a need.

Heath:

So what's

Caesar:

the message that comes from that medium.

Caesar:

Wow.

Caesar:

This is a family and we're in this together, huh?

Caesar:

Because of Jesus.

Caesar:

We have God's favor on our lives every day of the week.

Caesar:

We're living and out all day, every day.

Caesar:

That's that's what that medium would be homes, daily meals, serving miraculous signs and healing growth.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Like we're a family we're in this together.

Caesar:

This is really good news.

Caesar:

And, and I know some who hear this.

Caesar:

I gotta think me harsh, you know, like I'm I'm, but I'm, I think I'm drawing fair contrast here.

Caesar:

Um, but I've asked my non-Christian friends, what they think about, you know, our church churches and our services and what they think it's all about.

Caesar:

And you know what, this is actually pretty soft accounting of their . Of their impressions.

Heath:

Well, it's interesting

Heath:

too, cuz then you think in light of what you had painted as, as the medium, a few moments ago, Basically we've all we've done is we've asked the lay people in the congregation.

Heath:

The biggest call challenge to them is, Hey, go out and invite your friends.

Heath:

Maybe hand out a flyer to your neighbor and try to get them to this cool performance that the professionals are putting.

Heath:

And

Caesar:

you're the audience.

Caesar:

Get more people joining the

Caesar:

audience.

Heath:

Yeah.

Heath:

You don't need to make disciples.

Heath:

Leave it to the pros.

Heath:

All we need you do is hand up flyers and try

Heath:

to,

Caesar:

Hey, we're gonna see Brian Setzer.

Caesar:

It's gonna be a killers show.

Caesar:

And if you really like him, you're gonna get more people to come to the show.

Caesar:

That's that's.

Caesar:

That's good.

Caesar:

Well, that's cool for a Setser show.

Heath:

right.

Heath:

But, but even here, like we're reading acts too.

Heath:

And as you're, as you're reading it, I'm sitting here going, no, he's exaggerating some of these words, like every day they weren't together every day.

Heath:

And then I, I literally open up the text here and it says every day

, Caesar:

I'm not making it up.

Heath:

Yeah.

Heath:

This is not just allegory.

Caesar:

Life as a family life and community.

Caesar:

Look at the difference in the medium.

Caesar:

That's all.

Caesar:

And that's, that's what today's, you know, episode's about is we're saying if the medium is really the message, we may not be communicating to people.

Caesar:

What we think.

Caesar:

And here's the thing we have to wonder.

Caesar:

Why has the church been in a pretty rapid decline for the last several decades?

Caesar:

Could it be that people, our medium is really working well and it, but it's not communicating a message that is the same message that Jesus communicated and his people communicated through their lives every day.

Caesar:

It has to be.

Caesar:

Yeah, that has to be at least part of it.

Caesar:

So, and I've said, I've said before, if it was just one more killer church service and sermon.

Caesar:

That, that we needed.

Caesar:

The whole world had been saved long ago.

Caesar:

Cause cuz I'll tell you had tons of 'em.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

There's man.

Caesar:

There's a lot of churches that are doing really good.

Caesar:

Like man, their bands are crushing it and they're staging and lighting.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

And preaching.

Caesar:

Oh, there's so much good preaching.

Caesar:

Yep.

Caesar:

And I I'm actually, I'm not actually against all that.

Caesar:

What I'm advocating for is there.

Caesar:

A call.

Caesar:

Is there, is there a need, is it time to start to, to kind of check the medium a little bit and go, have we slipped into things and trying to compete with the world thinking that's what'll do it.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

That's what'll get 'em if we can like win at their game instead of saying no, no, no.

Caesar:

We were given this most beautiful thing of being the family of God.

Caesar:

Yep.

Caesar:

And sharing our things and living generously and having God's favor upon our lives and, and watching how people are super attracted that that's never gonna change and go away, but we've some.

Caesar:

Decided to know, we can do a better job by competing with.

Caesar:

Entertainment and all that.

Caesar:

And I'll be honest with you, man.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Uh, like I said, there's some pretty slick productions out there, but I've never been to a church service that kicked it as hard as when we saw at Setzer last week.

Caesar:

No way.

Caesar:

Never, that's not even close the whole vibe of it.

Caesar:

You know what I mean?

Caesar:

The whole thing was just like, whoa, you know what I mean?

Caesar:

You could never, and then let's pull it off completely uniquely every week.

Caesar:

Impossible.

Caesar:

So I, I don't think we're impressed in anybody, I think.

Caesar:

And, and it's not that cuz people don't want to quote, go to church or they wanna be a part of the church.

Caesar:

They wanna be a part of a family.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

And I think we get to get back to that.

Caesar:

I really do.

Heath:

So what, uh, a question,

Caesar:

so please, again, I just have to say it to our listeners.

Caesar:

I'm not advocating, don't go to church services and don't invite people to churches.

Caesar:

I'm advocating for check out is the medium the message mm-hmm and what you're showing and what people are experiencing.

Caesar:

Is it communicating what you think it is?

Caesar:

Yeah, that's what I'm, that's what I'm saying here.

Caesar:

So

Heath:

a question for you is what would you say to people cuz I've, I've heard even in my life, people that go, you know, acts two.

Heath:

It was a honeymoon stage of the church, or it was the initial kickoff that the church needed to be.

Heath:

There's no, I don't have schedules to meet every day.

Heath:

That's not really for us in the here and now you think that still applies to us that the church

Caesar:

that's ridiculous.

Caesar:

That's just ridiculous.

Caesar:

You got, if you look at the whole story of scripture from Genesis forward, all the way through the history of Israel.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

And up through.

Caesar:

Not, not only including acts, but even what was being addressed in the epistles through acts that wasn't a honeymoon period.

Caesar:

If it was, it was a honeymoon period that lasted for decades and decades and decades, you know what I mean?

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

This is well, no, I mean, yeah, just in the new Testament was decades and decades.

Caesar:

If you look from Genesis forward, up through all the epistles being written and all that, you're talking thousands and thousands a year of God revealing himself through a family narrative.

Caesar:

A father who sends a son to take a bride and have many brothers and sisters in offspring.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

To fill the world with his glory, that wasn't a honeymoon period.

Caesar:

It was the consummation of what God always intended his people to be like.

Caesar:

And there's only about a billion verses where he says that exact same thing to Israel.

Caesar:

Hm.

Caesar:

And, and the consummation of the church was the beginning of a people who now forgiven and alt by God's spirit could actually live that out and become.

Caesar:

The family that got always desired and created us to be, and then offer that to a, really, to other staff, needy, needy world, who was created for that same thing.

Heath:

So how would you, um, encourage church staff to work towards correcting some of these issues?

Heath:

Like how do you find more clarity and alignment between the message and the medium.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

So, uh, this is probably, I'll probably pop the top off of something that could be a longer discussion.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

But, you know, I always wish that there was like in the new Testament, I really wish that we would have just a list.

Caesar:

Hey, you know what it really is.

Caesar:

This is what you do.

Caesar:

You do three songs at the front of the service.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

And you do some announcements and then you'd preach a little, you a couple more tunes and you'd take the offering.

Caesar:

You know, I wish it was just laid out.

Caesar:

We could go there.

Caesar:

It.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

You know, it'd be nice, but I think we actually did get that in many ways.

Caesar:

Um, and you can look at it old Testament all the way again, like I said, from Genesis sort of forward, I think that what we see is that when the people of God gathered both old Testament and, you know, Jesus and his disciples, and then, and then seeing how they replicated his life.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

Through the book of acts and all the epistles and all that is what we see is we see that what they did, what they experienced and what they offered was both a reminder.

Caesar:

and a demonstration okay.

Caesar:

Of who God is and what he's like and how we now get to live every day, all, all year or all week, all year.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Mm-hmm so a reminder in a demonstration.

Caesar:

So think about it, go back, go back with me.

Caesar:

Um, in the law, God made it mandated to Israel, um, a series of festivals and feasts sure.

Caesar:

Things throughout the year.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

It was part of the law.

Caesar:

This is how you're to live.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

And every one of them was both a reminder.

Caesar:

And a demonstration.

Caesar:

Huh.

Caesar:

It was a reminder of, of who God was and how he provided for them.

Caesar:

Let's so let's just pick one, like, uh, the feast of first fruits, they would bring to God, first fruits as an offering, but then they'd throw this giant party and pretty much eat it all up.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

You know, pick the wine and all that.

Caesar:

And so it was a reminder that God is generous and God's a provider.

Caesar:

God, he's a good dad.

Caesar:

And it was a demonstration that it's not only once a week, but we can live our lives generously all week and all year.

Caesar:

Okay, because this is our same dad.

Caesar:

It, it's not gonna go away.

Caesar:

This is a reminder of who he is to us, and it's a demonstration of how we get to live all year.

Caesar:

And it's a reminder and demonstration to a watching world.

Caesar:

This is who dad's like.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

And you can go through every single one of the feasts and they all follow this pattern of a reminder and a demonstration.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Now let's jump ahead to Jesus with his disciples.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

You know, just pinnacle, pinnacle gathering with his, with his 12.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

Was the last supper I mean, he was with him a lot.

Caesar:

It was always, it was always in the same medium.

Caesar:

I said earlier that acts had yep.

Caesar:

In homes out in marketplaces, um, out in the temple courts breaking bread, right?

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

Absolutely.

Caesar:

But the pinnacle one had to be the last supper.

Caesar:

Jesus pulls it all together around a meal.

Caesar:

Mm-hmm, a traditional classic historical meal of Passover.

Caesar:

And he says to him, he takes the bread and he thanks dad for it.

Caesar:

Thanks the father for it.

Caesar:

And he takes wine and they're pointing the meal and he, thanks God for it.

Caesar:

And he says like, whenever you eat together, Hmm do this, like there was eat and drink.

Caesar:

What?

Caesar:

In remembrance of me.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

There's that reminder part of the reminder in demonstration.

Caesar:

Right?

Caesar:

And then it was a demonstration.

Caesar:

This is my body.

Caesar:

It's gonna be broken for you.

Caesar:

In other words, I'm laying my life down for you.

Caesar:

Huh?

Caesar:

It's a demonstration of its love and how we now get to live.

Caesar:

Right?

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

It's cool.

Caesar:

And this is my blood poured out.

Caesar:

I'm pouring out my life that you would have life.

Caesar:

That means amazing was a reminder and a demonstration.

Caesar:

And then he says, do this.

Caesar:

what in remembrance of, in remembrance of me.

Caesar:

So, I mean, I'm not making this up now.

Caesar:

Let's jump ahead to act.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Um, what, what were they doing?

Caesar:

What was, what we just read it in act, what were they doing?

Caesar:

And, and what was the primary way?

Caesar:

The early church gathered?

Caesar:

If you don't know it, I mean, I'm not church historian, but, um, many of our listeners know this church services and church gatherings were always around a meal.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

And they were primarily gathered around.

Caesar:

communion together.

Caesar:

That that was really why they got together.

Caesar:

They, they took Jesus' words seriously, and they took his reminder and his demonstration of how they got to live.

Caesar:

And it says they did this every day together.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

They remembered yeah.

Caesar:

Through meals.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

And so they lived out this reminder and a demonstration, a reminder of who God is, what he's done.

Caesar:

What's true of us now because of that.

Caesar:

And then a demonstration of how we get to live and it, and it becomes this demonstration to others too.

Caesar:

Talk about the medium.

Caesar:

Is the message, man.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

And so your question of how, you know, how, how does a church staff work towards correcting these issues?

Caesar:

I'd say, look at what you're doing.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

In your church services, I'm not here to tell anybody what they should or shouldn't do in their church services and ask yourself, is it either a reminder and it's supposed to be both.

Caesar:

And is it a reminder demonstration and a demonstration of how we get to live in all of life?

Caesar:

So for instance.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

I used to be a worship leader, but, and I know you are one for a living.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

But is sitting in rows singing songs that aren't from our normal life.

Caesar:

Mm-hmm , you know, with words on a screen.

Caesar:

Something, that's a demonstration of how we get to live in all of life every day.

Caesar:

Probably not for most people.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

They're not gonna set up screens in their houses and right.

Caesar:

They're not, but would a meal be, you know, so, so there's all kinds of things I'm not gonna, but take all the things that you do as a church.

Caesar:

Yep.

Caesar:

As a church community and not just on Sundays.

Caesar:

Programs programming throughout the week, summer, you know, summer programming.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

You know, men's and women's ministries and ask yourself, is it a reminder of who God is and what he's done for us?

Caesar:

And is it a demonstration of how we now, because of what he, who he is and what he's done, get to live all year.

Caesar:

And, and would it be a demonstration to the watching.

Caesar:

Huh.

Caesar:

And I know some people say, well, you know, when we sing and we worship God, that's a, that's a reminder of his glory.

Caesar:

And that's a demonstration that we believe it.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Sort of sure.

Caesar:

In, in all of life, well, in all of life, we should worship God.

Caesar:

Yes.

Caesar:

But you see what I'm saying?

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And I'm not, like I said, I'm not here to point out or try to tell everybody you should or shouldn't do this.

Caesar:

I don't think so.

Caesar:

And traditions we have are important.

Caesar:

They're not as important as scripture.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

They are important.

Caesar:

They bring meaning to us.

Caesar:

But again, if the medium is the message, if the way we're delivering this amazing, good news does have bearing if not prominence sure.

Caesar:

In how people receive the message and what we're actually trying to communicate about God and about Jesus and his life, and now our life, because of him, it does affect it.

Caesar:

Then we, we, I think we get to, we need to ask these questions.

Heath:

Yeah.

Heath:

So what would you say are some steps moving forward or maybe even some guideposts, if you all.

Heath:

That will allow us to make sure that once we start making some of these corrections, that we're actually staying on track.

Caesar:

Well, I mean, back there, again, back to the reminder and demonstration discussion, have that discussion as a staff and team, if you dare.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

You know, we do a lot of training you around, around the country, around the world on this.

Caesar:

And, and I, and I have this discussion with people I go like, and what kind of things in your, in your church would you say right now we're doing, and I believe they definitely are a reminder and a demonstration.

Caesar:

Cause not everything is.

Caesar:

I'm not saying that.

Caesar:

So like, like list those things.

Caesar:

It's both a reminder of who God is, what he's like and what he's done for us and a demonstration of how we then get to live because of that.

Caesar:

And it's a demonstration to a watching world, which things for sure are that.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

And then make a list of which things are probably not either or both of those.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And then ask yourself, could they be, could they be reinfused with meaning?

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Maybe we should not be doing really.

Caesar:

Maybe we're just purely doing 'em cuz we've always done it.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

And really it has nothing to do with Jesus or his life or the way his people, you know, the disciples, the early church live.

Caesar:

Um, the other thing is I wanna.

Caesar:

I wanna say is language creates culture.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Like, you'll you, you know, I use the word church services here, but when I was leading church, we didn't call 'em services.

Caesar:

When I hear services, I right away go like, oh, I gotta get my breaks done.

Caesar:

It's time to get that oil changed.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

You know, it's like, it's.

Caesar:

They're a family reunion.

Caesar:

That's a family gathering, you know, calling people the, you know, calling the building the church bad.

Caesar:

We've talked about that before on the show.

Caesar:

I even done that with

Caesar:

like the words, like call the worship.

Caesar:

Like now now's when you start worshiping and you'll end it when the service is over.

Caesar:

It's like,

Caesar:

yeah.

Caesar:

I have friend that he had to, he had to, and they're, he had to stand up and say, okay, exactly.

Caesar:

Like this all rise for the giving of the benediction . Now I know we're ticking off some people right now here in this.

Caesar:

Cause I go, we say that every week, you know, but I'm like, wait a minute.

Caesar:

Where do you hear Jesus saying anything like that?

Caesar:

Where do you see Paul saying that?

Caesar:

Or anything?

Caesar:

Early church.

Caesar:

All rise.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

For the giving of the benediction.

Caesar:

I don't, I don't even know what that means.

Caesar:

Sounds like a military thing I do, but I don't, but it's just like, what?

Caesar:

How about say this?

Caesar:

Like, Hey, before we go, let's just like hug it out and let's let me give you a last blessing.

Caesar:

Like, you know, there's one more blessing.

Caesar:

Yeah, and that blessing's gonna be a reminder of who God is and it's gonna be a demonstration for all of life.

Caesar:

You know, I hope right.

Caesar:

I hope that'll really help you just live this out all we sure.

Caesar:

And, but it's things like that.

Caesar:

So language creates culture.

Caesar:

That's a big one.

Caesar:

So think about the words we use and there, again, someone's walking in cold, you know, they weren't raised in this country.

Caesar:

They weren't raised going to church or was like, you know, my great grandmother used to go to church and it wasn't even, it wasn't even evangelical.

Caesar:

It was a main line thing.

Caesar:

It was Catholic.

Caesar:

It was a little, it was totally different than, you know, this.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

They walk.

Caesar:

what are they hearing?

Caesar:

What are they seeing?

Caesar:

What's that language saying to them?

Caesar:

I, this is, this is the church.

Caesar:

It's a building or, or, or is the church the show, huh?

Caesar:

Or is the church people and is the, are these people a family?

Caesar:

And, and then are we a family of sent ones?

Caesar:

Are we missionaries sure.

Caesar:

Sent to serve all, you know, so language creates culture.

Caesar:

So I'd say those two things is to, to be bold enough to have the conversation around what are we doing that clearly is a reminder and demonstration.

Caesar:

Accurately mm-hmm and, and the watching world would pick up on it right away.

Caesar:

They'd get up.

Caesar:

I get, I get what being means means to be a Christian.

Caesar:

This is what you live.

Caesar:

Like, this is beautiful, you know, and check your language.

Caesar:

Like, you know, you don't, you don't have to call it the Nath X man, you know, or whatever, a lobby, you know, it's like, oh, this is that's what theaters have.

Caesar:

Well, we kind of set up our church building as a theater.

Caesar:

Yeah, that might be a problem too.

Caesar:

Is there ways to minimize that?

Caesar:

Could we see, could, could we be seated where we can see each other?

Caesar:

Could there be dialogue?

Caesar:

Could we discuss some of these things before we go?

Caesar:

Could we eat some stuff?

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

You get to ask those questions and remember, by the way, I I, yeah, boy, I'd be remiss if I didn't say this.

Caesar:

The things that they, that the, that the early church did that were a reminder of who God was and a demonstration of how to live an all of life were so that they could accomplish the mission of the church.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

Which is always and only make disciples of Jesus.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

So if what we're doing, we could say, well, it's a reminder of who, what God's like in a demonstration, but it doesn't help.

Caesar:

It's not discipleship.

Caesar:

well, then I think we have to put it on the maybe why list, right?

Caesar:

I think we get to, I'm not here to tell anybody what that is, but if they're bold enough to have that conversation reminder to demonstration and it's accomplishing the mission.

Caesar:

Yep.

Caesar:

Think about it.

Caesar:

If what we're doing, when we gather doesn't accomplish the mission of Christ.

Caesar:

But we're his church and we've been given that mission.

Caesar:

What are we doing?

Caesar:

That'd be like, you know, um, yeah.

Caesar:

You know, Walmart's decided that they're, um, no longer selling any kind of product.

Caesar:

So now what you're gonna experience when you go to, um, Walmart, it's a, it's a water park.

Caesar:

It's a theme water park.

Caesar:

Yeah, but I go to Walmart for something else.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Well, not anymore.

Caesar:

Huh?

Caesar:

Not anymore.

Caesar:

You'll have to buy stuff elsewhere.

Caesar:

You know what I mean?

Caesar:

Like, so if the church is supposed to show us what God's like and how we get to live and that's part of discipleship, but we don't do a lot of that.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Then maybe we get to reconsider some of that stuff.

Heath:

That's that's great.

Heath:

Right.

Heath:

Caesar, what are the big three takeaways

Heath:

for this week?

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Well, there again, I try to have these follow, like head heart hands.

Caesar:

Sure.

Caesar:

You know, like what we need to know and what we get to believe and then how we can live.

Caesar:

Um, and so I'll be, I'll be precise though here, because I think I was preaching today a little bit.

Caesar:

um, so first one is assigned greeters.

Caesar:

Road seating, staging, lights, and sound are all awesome for a rock concert, but they may not be helping to show people what our heavenly dad and his son and this life as Christians is really all about a few special people who do most of the work.

Caesar:

Do most of the communication with really little to no personal, you know, interaction or participation is not what the early church and.

Caesar:

You know, who are being exposed to it, we're experiencing together.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

That's good, man.

Caesar:

Just, just know that, I mean, that's, that's not conjecture, it's not just opinion that you won't find any of that.

Caesar:

Okay.

Heath:

So I should probably talk, stop taking like the selfies with the pedal boards in the, in the audience, in the background,

Caesar:

not if it's at a rock concert anyway.

Caesar:

Um, second, um, believe this, the church is a family and we're in this.

Caesar:

Because of Jesus.

Caesar:

We have God's favor on our lives all week, every day, all week, not just when we're singing and mostly in key and our hands are raised at the right points or when we knee the right points, whatever this, this is all really good news.

Caesar:

Our homes, daily meals, serving together, praying, learning signs and healing, organic growth.

Caesar:

These are the mediums of a life of a.

Caesar:

A family that can change the world.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

And that kinda leads me to my third point.

Caesar:

People are literally dying for relationship.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Church is in a decline and everybody wants what we've, we've been given.

Caesar:

They just, our medium's not giving it to 'em.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

So with you and more they're driving with relationships with you and I, but more importantly with God.

Caesar:

So it's fine to have parts of our church services that are tradition and, and they, that bring great meaning to us, the church, there's nothing wrong with that, but everything the church is supposed to be about is Jesus mission of making disciples and Disciple making happens.

Caesar:

In relationship.

Caesar:

So look for ways to saturate your church services with relational step on points for people beyond Sunday morning.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

So if big Sunday, morning's your tradition.

Caesar:

Start to infuse it with relational step on points, and then also over your table and over a cup of coffee and you can begin to show them much more what our dad's like.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Heath:

I think one of the best examples of that was Josh Boyd, our buddy, Josh, uh, he actually showed up to the church that I, I serve with.

Heath:

And it was like his first week and he was going in and engaging with people and he invited him over to the house for a Sounders game that afternoon.

Heath:

It's like, Hey, Bing right away.

Heath:

Yeah.

Heath:

Yeah.

Heath:

Like you're new.

Heath:

Here's this is my first week too.

Heath:

You wanna come over to my house and watch a game tonight and

Caesar:

it's so, so along with this, week's big three when people download it.

Caesar:

Um, I'm gonna go ahead and put a link in there too for, um, uh, 10.

Caesar:

We have this, um, like assessment that's called 10 benchmarks of a healthy Missional church.

Caesar:

It's an assessment.

Caesar:

That's great.

Caesar:

Like a church can take and this assessment will help you kinda reorder and refocus your church's efforts toward true Missional growth as well.

Caesar:

Mm-hmm and increased incarnation presence in your neighborhood or city.

Caesar:

So we'll go ahead and we'll give you the big three and I'll throw in the 10 benchmarks assessment.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Yeah, but you gotta download the big three to get that tool, correct.

Caesar:

That's right.

Caesar:

As always you can get a printable PDF of this week's big three as a free download by going to everyday Disciple dot com slash big three that's everyday Disciple dot com slash big three.

Caesar:

Also, if you're interested in learning a full framework for discipleship and mission, and you'd like someone to walk alongside and show you all that coach you in that encourage you bring some accountability to setting all this up and really starting to live this way.

Caesar:

I would love to help you.

Caesar:

I'd like to get together, tell you a little bit about our coaching hop.

Caesar:

Maybe hop on a zoom call or something like that.

Caesar:

Just go over to everyday Disciple dot com slash coaching.

Caesar:

You can learn more about that and you can also fill out a little mini form.

Caesar:

That'll contact me and we can set up a time that we can talk.

Caesar:

All right, well, time is up for today.

Caesar:

Join us again next week or go back through our hundreds of episode.

Caesar:

To continue to learn discipleship as a lifestyle in everyday life and how the good news of the Gospel speaks into everything naturally and powerfully.

Caesar:

I'll talk to you soon.

Heath:

Thanks for joining us today.

Heath:

For more information on this show and to get loads of free discipleship resources, visit everyday Disciple dot com.