Not your Mama’s Church

I recall a billboard advertisement for a church in a town where I once served. It simply stated the name of the church and the words, “Not your mama’s church.” Now I’ll be the first guy to say that my mama’s church wasn’t perfect but this particular marketing angle begs the question, how is this church not like my mama’s church?

What is it about my mama’s church that was so creatively improved upon? Was it that older lady that selflessly taught the same Sunday school class, my Sunday school class, for 35 years? Was she improved upon? Or was it those missionaries that I gave my Vacation Bible School Offering to? The ones that translated the Bible into a tribal language paving the way for scores of people to join us in the kingdom. Were they improved upon? Perhaps it was the volunteer youth leaders that took an interest in me and my buddies and took us on canoe trips and to camps and on mission experiences all the while passionately teaching us about Jesus. Is that how this church is so much better than my mama’s church?

And I can’t help but wonder about the person who thought up this creative approach to promoting their church. I wonder how that person came to Christ. Did someone at their mama’s church teach them about Jesus and invite them to begin a relationship with him? Maybe they never went to mama’s church. Perhaps they came to Christ in college and were lead to Jesus by some campus minister, someone supported by somebody’s mama’s church.

All kidding aside, what have we become? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to think that your church is special in some way but what are we racing toward that we’re driven to be in competition with rather than in cooperation with our brothers and sisters in Christ and their churches across town? Here we stand on the shoulders of a multitude of saints; mamas and fathers without whom we’d never know the name Jesus and we think we’re really something and every day we insult the bride of Christ with our arrogant superiority.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

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